U.S. Federal Trade Commission Launched a Blockchain Working Group
A Blockchain Working Group was launched by the U.S.- based Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Its purpose is to analyze the methods in which this technology influences the FTC’s objectives.
According to a blog post published on 16 March 2018 by the agency’s Acting Chief Technologist, Neil Chilson, “We believe this working group is an important step to ensure the FTC can continue its missions to protect consumers and promote competition in light of cryptocurrency and blockchain developments.”
The Working Group’s purposes
The Working Group has the purpose to design a FTC employee verification system related to the development of crypto coins and blockchain technology by distributing private resources and attracting experts from the outside environment. It will also strive to improve the coordination and communication of enforcement actions both within the agency and externally.
The announcement about the launch of the group overlapped with the FTC’s notice of the process they are conducting on four individuals associated with the Bitcoin Funding Team. Using My7Network and Jetcoin platforms, they used Bitcoin assets to manage fraudulent operations.
According to Chilson’s blog post, “As the primary federal general consumer protection agency, the FTC has seen this pattern before. Fraudsters often attempt to capitalize on the excitement and confusion around hot new technologies, and they are quick to dress up old schemes in the clothes of the latest and greatest innovations.”
“It is no surprise that fraudsters might use cryptocurrencies in their scams”, he added.
The Federal Trade Commission has been interested in the crypto industry since 2015 when they had the first investigation on a crypto application where a malware system was introduced in. Since then, the agency has been strongly involved in fraudulent cases that are linked to the crypto industry and blockchain technology.
The FTC is not the first agency to launch a Working Group. The first announcement has been made by the State Department since January 2017. Also, the Financial Stability Oversight Council has announced in January 2018 about the creation of such a group.