The founder and CEO of retail giant Overstock.com Patrick Byrne says that blockchain can make government “superefficient and incapable of being bribed,” in an interview with MarketWatch published on Feb. 12.
Byrne reportedly said that government services have reached a turning point for a fundamental change of their structure, and blockchain technology, in his opinion, will be the optimal solution.
Byrne proposed “building government-as-a-service, a set of applications and companies that, between them, can bring blockchain to different services that governments provide,” which will eventually “make government superefficient, inexpensive and incapable of being bribed.” He stated:
“We could step into Venezuela with six laptops and create not only a functioning society but arguably one with the most advanced government systems in the world. We could bring them a central bank on the laptop. Everyone in Venezuela downloads a free app, and suddenly you have the most advanced monetary system on the planet.”
Byrne reportedly revealed that he expects to conclude a contract with more than one sovereign nation in the near future to start radically overhauling their government services.
In January, Overstock.com announced it will pay part of its business taxes in the state of Ohio using Bitcoin (BTC) via the recently launched cryptocurrency taxpayer platform, OhioCrypto.com. Byrne said then that government adoption of cryptocurrencies and other emerging technologies, accompanied by friendly legislation, is "the best way to ensure the U.S. does not lose our place at the forefront of the ever-advancing global economy."
Recently, Venezuela’s new crypto bill, which establishes а legal framework for the industry, officially came into force. The legislation also introduced the concept of a sovereign crypto asset — any currency issued in Venezuela and authorized by the government — and established obligatory licenses for mining entities and crypto exchanges, and introduces fines for unlicensed activities.
In December, Harvard University Professor of Economics and Public Policy Kenneth Rogoff said that governments worldwide may in due time “regulate and appropriate” the innovations of new asset classes like cryptocurrencies, as coorinatinated global regulation would eventually seek to “stamp out privately constructed systems:”
“The right way to think about cryptocurrency coins is as lottery tickets that pay off in a dystopian future where they are used in rogue and failed states, or perhaps in countries where citizens have already lost all semblance of privacy. It is no coincidence that dysfunctional Venezuela is the first issuer of a state-backed cryptocurrency (the “petro”).”