COVID-19 spur blockchain adoption
People,  Politics,  Regulation,  Technology

Perianne Boring: COVID-19 will spur global blockchain adoption

The founder and president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce said the stresses the pandemic is putting on global supply chains will accelerate the acceptance and use of digital ledgers

The COVID-19 crisis will spur global adoption of blockchain, Chamber of Digital Commerce founder and president Perianne Boring predicted.

“We’re seeing all kinds of critical systems being stress tested and cracking under the current demands. Blockchains have a huge role to play securing digital systems and I think people are going to be more receptive to this technology now that we’re facing a global crisis,” Boring said in an email interview with Modern Consensus.

She pointed out blockchain technologies that have been proven to distribute and track funds through and between financial institutions and individuals are being looked at as potential solutions to disburse stimulus funds.

Boring also said some of the largest charities in the world on the front lines of fighting COVID-19 will use cryptocurrencies to supplement their fundraising activities. Among those doing so are the Italian Red Cross and industry organizations like the Binance Charity Foundation.

They have “a real need to get cash in the door immediately in a frictionless way,” she said.

The long game

That need to speed the adoption of blockchain-based solutions is a view shared by the EU, which created the International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications in April to quickly find solutions to “a humanitarian crisis of cruel proportions.”

The World Economic Forum also came to that conclusion this month. In a recent article, the organization said, “supply chain visibility is crucial to understanding the impact of disruption.” 

All of this could prove useful in educating members of the U.S. Congress about the utility and value of blockchain and digital assets.

That’s a key goal of the Washington, D.C.-based Chamber of Digital Commerce, which Boring founded in 2014 in order to promote the acceptance and use of those technologies. It is focused on working with and educating policymakers, regulators, and private industry.

Calling the promotion of blockchain in Congress “an uphill battle,” she explained that there are very few members who have shown technical knowledge of blockchain technologies or have recognized its immense possibilities for business, government, and consumers.

She contended the fears of government leaders about cryptocurrencies highlighted in their pushback on Facebook’s Libra stablecoin project are based on misunderstandings.

“As people become more knowledgeable and are given the opportunity to see the power of this technology for good, they become less hostile towards it,” Boring said. 

A bright spot the Chamber of Digital Commerce leader cited is the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, which she said has been very active in promoting blockchain technology on Capitol Hill.

Building support

Boring’s organization has made inroads with regulators as well, and has three former Commodity Futures Trading Commission members—including two chairmen— on its advisory board. 

The most prominent of those is Christopher Giancarlo, who quickly joined the Chamber after his term ended last year. Giancarlo recently created the Digital Dollar Project, pushing for a U.S.-issued central bank digital currency.

Other prominent board members include James Robinson, co-founder and managing partner at RRE Ventures; Don Tapscott, CEO of The Tapscott Group; and David Treat, managing director and global blockchain lead at Accenture.

The organization’s fifth annual DC Blockchain Summit, scheduled for March 11-12, was among the earlier industry events cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Ted Knutson is a veteran Washington financial reporter. Knutson does not own any cryptocurrencies.