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S. 553 (116th): Blockchain Promotion Act of 2019

The text of the bill below is as of Dec 17, 2019 (Reported by Senate Committee). The bill was not enacted into law.


Calendar No. 373


1st Session

S. 553

[Report No. 116–177]


February 26, 2019

(for himself and Mr. Markey) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

December 17, 2019

Reported by , with amendments

Omit the part struck through and insert the part printed in italic


To direct the Secretary of Commerce to establish a working group to recommend to Congress a definition of blockchain technology, and for other purposes.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Blockchain Promotion Act of 2019.


Working group to recommend definition of blockchain technology



In this section—


the term Federal agency has the meaning given the term agency in section 551 of title 5, United States Code; and


the term Secretary means the Secretary of Commerce.



Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall establish within the Department of Commerce a working group to be known as the Blockchain Working Group.




In general

The Blockchain Working Group shall be composed of members, the number of whom shall be determined by the Secretary, and who shall be appointed in accordance with paragraph (2).




Representatives of Federal agencies


Designation of Federal agencies

The Secretary shall designate Federal agencies to be represented in the Blockchain Working Group, as the Secretary considers appropriate to ensure representation of a cross-section of Federal agencies that could use, or benefit from, blockchain technology.


Appointment of members

The head of each Federal agency designated under clause (i) shall appoint an officer or employee of the Federal agency to serve as a member of the Blockchain Working Group.


Representatives of nongovernmental stakeholders


In general

The Secretary shall appoint representatives of nongovernmental stakeholders with respect to blockchain technology to serve as members of the Blockchain Working Group.


Representation of certain stakeholders required

The members of the Blockchain Working Group appointed under clause (i) shall include representatives of


representatives of information and communications technology manufacturers, suppliers, software providers, service providers, and vendors;


subject matter experts representing industrial sectors, other than the technology sector, that the Secretary determines could use, or benefit from, blockchain technology;


representatives of small, medium, and large businesses;


individuals and representatives of institutions engaged in academic research relating to blockchain technology;


representatives of nonprofit organizations and consumer advocacy groups engaged in activities relating to blockchain technology; and


representatives of rural and urban stakeholders.


No pay for members

A member of the Blockchain Working Group shall serve without pay.


Report to Congress


In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Blockchain Working Group shall submit to Congress a report that contains—


a recommended definition of the distributed ledger technology commonly known as blockchain technology; and


recommendations for—


a study to be conducted by the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, on the impact of blockchain technology on electromagnetic spectrum policy;


a study to examine a range of potential applications, including nonfinancial applications, for blockchain technology; and


opportunities for Federal agencies to use blockchain technology.


Consideration of recommendations in NIST Internal Report 8202

In making recommendations under paragraph (1), the Blockchain Working Group may consider any recommendations contained in National Institute of Standards and Technology Internal Report 8202, entitled Blockchain Technology Overview and published in October 2018.



The Blockchain Working Group shall terminate on the date on which the Blockchain Working Group submits to Congress the report under subsection (d)(1).

December 17, 2019

Reported with amendments