Digital assets like cryptocurrency, NFTs, blockchain services and metaverse technologies are a transformative force reshaping our economy. As of this year, digital assets are used by 46 million people in the US, and Virginia ranks No. 7 among the top states in the country that are creating a digital economy.
While plenty of Virginians are embracing these technologies, many lawmakers at the state and federal levels are still hesitant to support them. Meanwhile, countries across Europe and Asia have recognized the potential of digital assets and have already begun implementing clear and reasonable regulations that foster their growth and innovation. If we want to remain competitive on the global stage, our legislative bodies must act swiftly and decisively in support of cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies.
For those who aren’t familiar, digital assets – such as Bitcoin or Ethereum – offer individuals and businesses a secure and decentralized method of conducting transactions. By using advanced mathematics and cryptography (the scientific art of writing or solving codes) to create a transparent and immutable ledger of transactions, digital assets eliminate the need for intermediaries such as banks, reduce business operating costs and solve real-world problems.
Currently, businesses, such as OodlesBlockchain and IBM, are using blockchain technology to streamline supply chains, making them more transparent and efficient. This is particularly relevant information for Virginians involved in the state’s robust agricultural sector, where this technology could enhance traceability and reduce fraud. With constant innovations in the crypto space, digital assets’ potential benefit business owners in the Commonwealth is limitless.
With the introduction of any new technology, however, lawmakers are bound to have concerns. While it is true that the anonymous nature of cryptocurrency has allowed a small number of bad actors to engage in criminal activities, it is important to note that only 0.15% of all cryptocurrency volume in 2022 was used for illegal purposes, with the overwhelming majority of crypto being used for legitimate transactions. Another concern is market volatility, as prices of cryptocurrencies can fluctuate rapidly due to speculative trading, changes in market sentiment, technological advancements, or macroeconomic events.