This bill provides for a national strategy and research and development regarding technologies related to distributed ledgers (e.g., blockchain or Bitcoin). A distributed ledger is a ledger that is shared across and synchronized between a set of distributed nodes (i.e., devices or processes) in a network that store a complete or partial replica of the ledger and meet other requirements.
The Office of Science and Technology Policy must develop a national strategy for the research and development of distributed ledger technologies and their applications, with a particular focus on applications of public and permissionless distributed ledgers. The office must coordinate with the National Science and Technology Council and other relevant federal agencies, as appropriate, on the strategy. The national strategy shall include
plans to support public and private sector investment and partnerships in research and technology development for societally beneficial applications of distributed ledger technologies, and
an identification of additional resources, administrative action, or legislative action recommended to assist with the implementation of such strategy.
The National Science Foundation shall make competitive awards to institutions of higher education or nonprofit organizations (or their consortia) to support research, including socio-technical research, on distributed ledger technologies and their applications, with a particular focus on applications of public and permissionless distributed ledgers.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology shall carry out an applied research project to study and demonstrate the potential benefits and unique capabilities of distributed ledger technologies.