US Lawmakers Explore Blockchain For SMBs

To explore the positive impacts of blockchain on small businesses, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business plans to hold a hearing next week. Witnesses scheduled to appear include PopCom CEO Dawn Dickson and Ownum CEO Shane Bigelow, as well as Jim Harper, a visiting fellow for the American Enterprise Institute, and Marvin Ammori, general counsel for Protocol Labs, Yahoo! Finance reported.

Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez said, according to the report, “it is vital that Congress keep pace with the evolving needs of our country’s innovative small businesses.” The “Building Blocks of Change: The Benefits of Blockchain Technology for Small Businesses” hearing will be held on March 4 at 11:30 a.m. EDT.

The hearing, according to the Committee on Small Business’ website, “will explore how innovators and entrepreneurs are using blockchain technology to help small businesses boost productivity, increase security, open new markets and change the way business is done.”

An announcement from the Committee said that “blockchain is a powerful new technology that creates a distributed digital ledger – a database – that allows multiple parties to engage in secure, trusted transactions with one another without an intermediary.”

And it noted that “while blockchain is most associated with cryptocurrency like bitcoin, it has many other uses, including tracking goods in global supply chains or enabling peer-to-peer transactions between connected devices.”

In separate news, Clear announced $13 million in Series A funding earlier this month, with a focus on harnessing smart contract and blockchain technology to tackle friction in high-volume cross-border B2B payments. Eight Roads led the round, with Telekom Innovation Pool, HKT, Telefónica Innovation Ventures and Singtel Innov8 also participating.

Paystand is another firm utilizing blockchain in the B2B FinTech arena, tapping into the technology to streamline B2B payments with its payments-as-a-service solution. Separately, blockchain-based small business lending platform OneConnect, a Chinese company, has rolled out a new portal for SMB lending in the Guangdong province.


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