US Lawmakers Introduce CLARITY Act to Restrict Chinese Blockchain Tech and Cryptocurrency in Government Operations
In a bipartisan effort, U.S. lawmakers introduced the Creating Legal Accountability for Rogue Innovators and Technology (CLARITY) Act on Wednesday, seeking to implement a comprehensive ban on the use of Chinese-linked blockchain technology and cryptocurrency by the U.S. government. The bill also specifically targets government dealings with iFinex, the parent company of Tether, the world’s largest stablecoin cryptocurrency.
The CLARITY Act: A Bipartisan Initiative
Co-led by U.S. Representatives Zach Nunn, R-Iowa, and Abigail Spanberger, D-N.J., the CLARITY Act addresses growing concerns about the security implications associated with China-based blockchain technology. The lawmakers clarified that the primary objective is to prevent foreign adversaries from having any potential backdoor access that could compromise critical national security intelligence and the private information of American citizens.
Specific Targets and National Security Focus
Apart from the broad ban on Chinese-linked blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, the bill identifies specific entities as targets, including The Spartan Network, The Conflux Network, and Red Date Technology Co. Notably, Red Date is the official architect behind China’s national blockchain project and the development of the digital yuan, the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Red Date’s Response and Open-Source Transparency
In response to the bill, Red Date Technology Co. clarified that its blockchain technology, specifically the BSN Spartan Network, is primarily geared towards traditional IT applications rather than cryptocurrency. The company emphasized its commitment to transparency by inviting U.S. officials to examine their open-source code, signaling a willingness to address concerns and ensure the secure nature of their technology.
Comprehensive Government Plan for Risk Mitigation
The CLARITY Act goes beyond the immediate bans and proposes the development of a synchronized plan by the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of State, and the Director of National Intelligence. This plan is aimed at “preventing the risks posed by China’s and other foreign adversaries’ development of blockchain technologies.” The comprehensive approach underscores the government’s commitment to proactively manage and mitigate potential risks associated with the proliferation of foreign-developed blockchain solutions.
Safeguarding National Security and Privacy
In essence, the CLARITY Act emerges as a significant legislative effort to safeguard national security and privacy concerns related to the adoption of Chinese-linked blockchain technology and cryptocurrency in U.S. government operations. As the bill progresses through legislative channels, it reflects the ongoing scrutiny and measures taken by lawmakers to address the evolving landscape of digital technologies and their potential impact on the country’s security infrastructure.