US Congressmen Urge Presidential Economic Advisor to Hold Blockchain Forum

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A group of United States congressmen has requested that Lawrence Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, hold a blockchain forum, in a letter published on May 24.

A group of seven congressmen, including Trey Hollingsworth, Darren Soto, Bill Foster, Tom Emmer, Ted Budd, Josh Gottheimer, and David Schweikert, has submitted a request to hold a forum on blockchain technology.

The Council is the principal body through which the US presidential administration considers economic policy matters. In addition to the forum, the congressmen also asked to include the technology in initiatives promoted by the administration.

In the request, the congressmen note the difficulty of applying purportedly out-dated legislation to emerging technologies, stating that a lack of regulatory clarity could negatively impact the development of new tech like blockchain. The lawmakers further argued that the technology could change a variety of industries in the US economy:

“Blockchain technology is an example of digital innovation that has the potential to transform a myriad of industries through its ability to improve the transparency, efficiency, and security of transactions and information in the financial services, health care, insurance, trade finance, and supply chain management sectors, among others.”

In April, 21 representatives, including some of those mentioned above, sent a bipartisan letter to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), requesting guidance on how to report virtual currency taxes.

The letter urged the IRS to provide guidance on tax consequences and basic reporting requirements for taxpayers that use virtual currencies, claiming that there is still “substantial ambiguity on a number of important questions about the federal taxation” of the emerging type of asset.

In response to the request, IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig stated that the agency has prioritized issuing relevant guidance. The instruction will specifically cover issues such as acceptable methods for calculation cost basis, cost basis assignment; and tax treatment of forks.