Tuesday, the Brookings Institution slipped in a blog post that compared Bitcoin to the Internet.

Mohit Kaushal, partner at Aberdare Ventures, and entrepreneur Sheel Tyle explained what the blockchain is and why it could important in a post for the TechTank blog. We've seen plenty of experts describing why the protocol underpinning the Bitcoin network could have many uses, but this one makes some interesting claims.

The conclusion is arguably the most interesting section of the post—especially considering the Brookings Institution is one of the oldest and among the most-respected public policy nonprofit think-tanks based on Embassy Row in Washington D.C. It reads:

“And much like the Internet in the late 1990s, we don’t know exactly how the Blockchain will evolve, but evolve it will.”

The institute warns against regulating the blockchain like a financial instrument. Belaboring the Internet comparison, they note that the backbone of the Internet, TCP/IP, was never regulated, even though it allowed for new financial instruments. The post continues:

“Had we over-regulated the Internet early on, we would have missed out on many innovations that we can’t imagine living without today. The same is true for the Blockchain. Disruptive technologies rarely fit neatly into existing regulatory considerations, but rigid regulatory frameworks have repeatedly stifled innovation. It’s likely that innovations in the Blockchain will outpace policy, let’s not slow it down.”

The Brookings Institution is a nonpartisan, American-centric think tank that focuses on economic issues. The nonprofit broadcasts a range of opinions, although it has often been deemed as liberal-leaning.

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