An Op-Ed by Lucas Overby, Libertarian Candidate for FL District 13

Protecting the Future of the Chain

In the search to protect the use and expansion of blockchain technology and its various applications, my team and I have delved not only into the legislative proposals both for and against Bitcoin but also waded into the waters of development. 

Like many in this space, for the purposes of clarity we have dealt with blockchain technology in two worlds: cryptocurrency and alternative uses. While cryptocurrencies have been at the forefront of this technological revolution and have been driving most legislative and regulatory discussions, a whole new world of non-currency applications is starting to make its way onto the stage.

While it is extremely important that we do whatever we can to protect the existing cryptocurrency ecosystem, understanding that the alternative applications are not only amazing advancements worthy of protection in their own right but, more importantly, the bridge to ultimate protection of blockchain technology is paramount.

As with any burgeoning technology, there is near as much philosophy to be dealt with as development and we have been extremely fortunate to get to work with some of the greatest, most pioneering minds in the industry to develop strategies to protect what is most certainly one the most important technologies of this century.

Currency vs. Commodity

From the vantage point of protecting cryptocurrency from future legislation, which is inevitable, we have looked at not only how other nations have viewed the use of it, but how it could be easily adapted into our current system. 

The use of cryptocurrencies (ccs) as an asset or commodity, similar to gold, has started to take hold as a standard and it is a standard that has the most practical uses. The overwhelming logistical issues with the implementation of ccs as a standard currency alongside the United States Dollar (USD) lead to the fear that we would be opening the ccs to being banned or not allowed to be used for domestic purchases, being listed as a foreign currency, falling prey to money laundering laws, or any number of existing regulations on domestic monetary systems. 

Conversely, if we protect ccs as a commodity, usability will continue to increase and possible tax ramifications will be simplified. Also, protecting ccs as a commodity will allow the continued use as a parallel alternative, rather than a competitor, to the USD, which will slow the calls to curtail its use. 

With the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) opening public hearings we are seeing the first major step in the direction of solidifying and protecting ccs. These hearings should be used to press for the codification of bitcoin as a commodity to prevent lower level judges, such as in the cases of US vs Faiella Further and SEC vs Trendon Shavers, from issuing definitions based on single instances which could lead to the banning of use. In another case, State of Florida vs Espinoza, the true concept of currency versus commodity is being put to the test. 

Commodity Futures Trading Commission

While I do not support the actions of defendants, it is important to take note that the larger community is being protected by asserting that Bitcoin is not subject to anti-money laundering laws and unlicensed money transmission laws under the premise that Bitcoin, or any ccs, is not money. This further illustrates the labyrinth of existing legislation and regulation that can be avoided by taking ccs in the direction of commodity rather than currency. 

Further, many experts assert that the growth of commodity trading inside the world of ccs would help further the stabilization of the market and lead to both protecting users from fraud and giving better, long-term investment options.

The Future of the Chain: Limitless Possibilities Yield Limitless Defense

Cryptocurrencies will always find a way to survive, with every one taken down two more will rise up. We kept this in mind when approaching the alternative technological use cases. The key, I find, to ultimately protecting blockchain technology will be found in developing the additional uses and procuring political third rails with advancements. 

“The key, I find, to ultimately protecting blockchain technology will be found in developing the additional uses and procuring political third rails with advancements.” 

Already we are seeing secure document technology come forward, covering every need of legal document, from incorporation to marriage. In fact, during an upcoming Bitcoin conference, Coins in the Kingdom, a couple will be getting married and registering their license via a blockchain. Even my own campaign team is utilizing the concepts of developers from all over the world to develop a congressional transparency and open source legislative system that will be held on a blockchain. 

The possibilities are limitless and we are simply taking our first glance at a whole new world of technology. Through the creation and development of these non-currency technologies we are also building a barrier between the chain and legislators who may seek to destroy it.  We are creating the arguments that will one day be used to shield this new world.

This is one of the underlying motives of our transparency system. No longer would legislators be simply attacking a possible currency or commodity competitor, they would be attacking those who wish to have more accountability. In the broader scope, they would be attacking the couple getting married this weekend in Orlando, they would be attacking safe alternatives to legal document storage, they would be attacking things the general public has a greater understanding and relationship to; they would be attacking the general public. 

Regardless of how anyone feels about the nature of political discourse, the inescapable fact is that emotions ultimately drive elections and legislation. By pushing the development of non-currency technologies we put a face to the technology that the public can emotionally become invested in, this is why my team and I have dedicated our time and resources in supporting these technologies and their developers. 

Upon taking office we have already established that we will dedicate funds to the advancement of transparency systems and we will seek legislation that protects the various blockchain advancements. In a nation built on market diversity and sent to soaring heights by nurturing technological advancements, it is our responsibility to not curtail the future, but put our efforts into fostering it.

Lucas Overby

About Lucas Overby

Lucas is a lifelong resident of Pinellas County. He attended Lakewood High School's Center for Advanced Technologies, becoming a member of the National Honors Society and graduating Cum Laude in 2004. While in high school he began working as a commercial diver, later attending Florida Atlantic University's Ocean Engineering Program. He currently works as a commercial Diving Supervisor.

Drawn to national action at a local level, Lucas began working in activism in 2003. He has worked with GSA, GLAAD, SOAR, NORML, PUFMM, and the Libertarian Party.

In 2009 Lucas was blessed with the birth of his daughter Raegan. Inspired to new action and eager to help better the community his daughter will grow up in, Lucas founded "Take a District"; a group dedicated to voter education, establishing a multi-partisan dialogue on voter issues, and promoting individual involvement in local politics.

Driven by these interests and the knowledge he's gained, Lucas filed for candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives in early 2013. He looks forward to meeting you, his future constituents, listening to your stories and concerns, and learning how he can best represent you.

For more information about this topic, please contact Lucas Overby by calling [202-688-5549], or e-mail [email protected]