This week, 11 members of the U.S. Congress urged Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to adopt blockchain technology for distributing a stimulus check to every American. The push comes after weeks of confusion around the payments, and problems with distribution. Now that the idea has been made public, American taxpayers are weighing in.
A bipartisan group of 11 congressional representatives sent a letter to Mnuchin on Tuesday, according to a report by Forbes. In it, they urged Mnuchin to consider using blockchain — not only for possible future coronavirus relief payments, but to finish distributing the ones that are going out now. They argued that this cutting edge technology was the best way to ensure that the money got into the hands of Americans who need it as soon as possible. Forbes noted that 90 million Americans have now received their stimulus check, and 60 million more are still waiting.
In the last few years, most Americans have probably at least heard of blockchain, cryptocurrency and bitcoin. The technology has been described by everyone from tech experts to financial experts to comedians as confusing, to say the least. It is essentially a form of decentralized, heavily encrypted digital currency that can be traded from person to person securely, theoretically eliminating the need for banks.
Blockchain has often been considered a fringe interest, with many people doubting the claims that it will revolutionize the global economy in any meaningful way. However, this week, The Block Crypto reported that the Chinese government has implemented blockchain technology widely across its various financial institutions, hinting that world governments may not be resistant to the technology forever.
As for the U.S. government, taxpayers have strong feelings about whether we should dabble with this technology at home. Some long-time enthusiasts are eager to see blockchain adopted at a high level, vindicating their years of belief in the idea. Others are fearful that this is not the best time to take a risk on such a hard-to-understand technology.
For updates on your stimulus check, visit the IRS’ Get My Payment website. For the latest information on the coronavirus pandemic, visit the websites of the CDC and the World Health Organization. In the meantime, here is what social media is saying about the possibility of the U.S. government using blockchain to distribute stimulus payments.