U.S. Congress Prepares For Blockchain Supply Chain Hearing

U.s. congress blockchain supply chain

The U.S. Congress is gearing up for a hearing on the role of blockchain technology in supply chains, as lawmakers prepare to meet to discuss the issue in subcommittee next week.

The Oversight and the Research and Technology subcommittees of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology are to meet on May 8, where it is expected they will deliberate on the case for greater adoption of blockchain technology, specifically across global supply chains, in the first such meeting of its kind in the House.

The hearing has been titled “Leveraging Blockchain Technology to Improve Supply Chain Management and Combat Counterfeit Goods,” indicating a focus on the ways blockchain can be used to record products from origin to market across international boundaries.

The subcommittees previously discussed the issue back in February, with a focus on possible “emerging uses” of blockchain technology. The hearing was initially billed as an opportunity for lawmakers to learn about the technology, with one representative suggesting “any potential future committee action on the subject (would) be informed by the hearing.”

Now, in the first such meeting after the initial information session, there is anticipation that lawmakers could embrace blockchain tech for use in more robust international supply chains and systems.

Logistics and cross-border trade are among the most prominent use cases cited for blockchain technology, with countless proofs of concept and test models already in development.

The first such hearing of its kind to examine a specific use case for blockchain tech, the meetings will be eagerly watched by a number of major corporates, including Alibaba, Samsung and IBM.

Samsung has previously disclosed its plans to develop a blockchain proof of concept for tracking international supply, while Alibaba recently revealed its work on a blockchain designed to eliminate food fraud.

As one part of a number of blockchain projects being undertaken by the group, IBM recently unveiled plans for a similar system for the precious stones market, which would benefit the jewelry and diamond trades.

All eyes will be focused on the committee hearings, and whether they indicate lawmakers are warming toward support for greater adoption of the technology at a governmental level.