- China-Based Blockchains in the Crosshairs: U.S. lawmakers introduce a bill to ban federal officials from using China-developed blockchain services amid national security concerns.
- Tether’s Transactions Scrutinized: The bill also seeks to block government transactions with iFinex, the parent company of Tether, and its ubiquitous stablecoin, USDT.
Legislative Measures Against Foreign Technological Influence
In a move that may redefine the boundaries of technological engagement, U.S. legislators unveiled the
“Creating Legal Accountability for Rogue Innovators and Technology (CLARITY) Act”.
Under this bipartisan proposal, federal officials would be prohibited from engaging with blockchain networks developed by entities based in China. This bill, spearheaded by Representatives Zach Nunn (R-Iowa) and Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), represents a bold step in mitigating perceived risks in the intersection of technology and national security.
The scope of the CLARITY Act extends beyond mere corporate interaction, forbidding transactions with iFinex and other entities such as The Spartan Network, The Conflux Network, and Red Date Technology Co., which is integral to China’s national blockchain initiative and its digital yuan.
A National Security Perspective
The thrust of this legislative endeavor is safeguarding American intelligence and private data from potential exploitation by foreign adversaries. Representative Nunn accentuated the urgency of the situation, projecting that blockchain technology will soon be the bedrock of American data storage. The legislation’s stance is clear: China’s substantial investments in blockchain technology represent a looming threat to both national security and data privacy.
Despite the bill’s decisive language and the fresh tenure of its proponents, it faces competition from other crypto-related bills, some with greater seniority and committee endorsement within the House of Representatives. Nonetheless, this bill stands out for its explicit prohibition on governmental transactions with named Chinese blockchain firms.
The bill also requires U.S. Treasury, State Department, and National Intelligence leaders to devise a strategy to counteract the potential dangers of foreign-developed blockchain technologies. This proactive component underlines the bill’s comprehensive approach to risk management.
Responding to the legislative push, Red Date emphasized that the BSN Spartan Network, the subject of the bill’s restrictions, is open source and not cryptocurrency-related. The company has even invited U.S. agencies to inspect its source code, underscoring a commitment to transparency.
This latest proposed prohibition parallels previous measures, such as the ban on government usage of TikTok, which highlighted similar security concerns due to its Chinese origins. The precedent set by this previous action suggests a continuing trend towards rigorous scrutiny of technology platforms with potential foreign surveillance capabilities.