As found on the FTC website they are creating a working blockchain group. They claim to have three missions for the working group.
- build on FTC staff expertise in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology through resource sharing and by hosting outside experts
- facilitate internal communication and external coordination on enforcement actions and other related projects
- serve as an internal forum for brainstorming potential impacts on the FTC’s dual missions and how to address those impacts
Naturally the thought we were having was that “hosting outside experts” and “external coordination” would mean that they were going to involve the blockchain community and cryptocurrency to get a better understanding of this space. As such we sent them an email and asked a few questions.
First we asked what the working group is doing in terms of definitions?
This question was not answered at all in the reply we received. So we will take that to mean “no comment”.
Second to we asked if you are using your education to help redefine terms that are currently being used to group currencies and tokens in the existing realms of securities?
This question also was not answered at all in the reply we received. So again we can only assume this means “no comment.”
Relating to the topics of bringing in outside experts and external coordination we asked Is this specifically coordination with governmental organization or are these coordination’s to include the blockchain and cryptocurrency community at large?
This is where we did get a reply. We will share with you the entire reply we received by email excluding titles.
Thank you for your interest in the FTC’s Blockchain Working Group and your questions. At this time, the working group is purely internal. The coordination that the blog post referred to is internal coordination regarding who is contacting and communicating with law enforcement partners in other agencies. We will certainly keep you in mind if that changes.
So apparently based on the information we were replied with, despite their missions claiming to be hosting outside experts and despite their claim of external coordination on enforcement actions, they will not actually be taking on an experts from the field and have no interest at this point in hearing what people inside the industry have to say about such matters.
This is where one of the biggest breakdowns of government can actually be seen.
How does the federal trade commission of the United States think they can help in any possible way when they are excluding from the conversation the very people who understand this technology the most, and those who any potential laws will impact the most?
How can they call any of the external experts they will be consulting with experts at all when they do not understand the space they are dealing with, and how could they possibly expect to create laws that the citizens will obey by excluding citizens from the talks?
It is agencies like this, that force decentralization upon the communities and will either run all cryptocurrency into peer-to-peer based technology, such as peer-to-peer trading platforms, or they will simply hinder the United States from being at the front of this technological advancement.
It is a shame to see that this agency refuses to hear what the community at large wishes and even more of a shame that they intend to work with law officials on a topic that they vastly do not understand.
As we have already seen from other agencies in the United States government, this agency will likely attempt to pass laws and rules around the concept of blockchain and cryptocurrency without any interest of those who those laws will most affect.
We can only hope in the future these agencies start to open their eyes to the reality that they can not just brute force their way into controlling this industry and actually need the help and education that the blockchain and cryptocurrency communities can bring to them if they wish to create effective laws in the future.