The US government held a public hearing on July 18 to discuss the mining and purchasing of cryptocurrencies by federal agencies.
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce invited Overstock’s Medici Ventures president Jonathan Johnson as one of five witnesses who testified before Congress about cryptocurrency usage within the American government. The digital asset investment firm, headed by major retail company Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, was invited for its work in the blockchain industry and its acquisition of decentralized crypto exchange startup Shapeshift back in 2018. During his testimony, Johnson noted that allowing American citizens to purchase official government documents with bitcoin (BTC) would “reduce operational costs and delivery times” across all branches of the United States Armed Forces.
Johnson also penned an op-ed for CoinDesk in January, where he argued that the government should accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment to recognize and encourage widespread adoption. According to Johnson’s July 18 statements before Congress, Overstock is currently mining 0.75 BTC per month across its 13 North American data centers.
He also noted that his company has dedicated more than $10 million of capital investments into blockchain technology since 2015, which it uses to back up its entire online retail operations.
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce published a full list of all five speakers, including Johnson, on its official website ahead of Tuesday’s hearing. Representatives from Walmart, Microsoft and IBM are among those who are scheduled to give testimonies regarding cryptocurrencies at the time being. The final hearing will be followed by a joint meeting of the House Committees on Agriculture and Energy and Commerce on Wednesday to discuss “”bitcoin, cryptocurrency, digital assets, and initial coin offerings (ICOs).”
In April 2018 , Overstock filed with the US Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) for approval to issue company stock as crypto tokens. In May 2017 , Byrne announced that he had sold approximately $400,000 worth of bitcoin holdings after his brokerage account was compromised in an attack.
The cryptoverse is currently awaiting news from yet another government meeting – this time from Russia – which reportedly plans to legalize cryptocurrencies. The Russian State Duma has reportedly invited experts from the country’s financial market participants to hold discussions on July 19 and 20 on how to bring cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology into the mainstream.