Washington, D.C.— Today, the House Small Business Committee gathered technology experts and small business owners to discuss the growing use of blockchain technology among small businesses and how the technology can benefit entrepreneurs moving forward.
“Blockchain technology can help small businesses compete on a more level playing field with larger corporations, by streamlining operations, reducing reliance on costly third-party intermediaries, and boosting cybersecurity networks,” said Chairwoman Velázquez. “Online commerce is far too important to small businesses for them to be beholden to a few online companies. Blockchain can help ensure that the internet remains open and a place where small businesses can thrive.
Blockchain technology acts as a digital ledger by allowing multiple parties to engage in secure transactions with one another without an intermediary. In recent years, this technology has been adopted by small businesses to streamline their operations, open new markets, and boost cybersecurity. The technology has the potential to lower barriers of entry for entrepreneurs by lowering cost and reducing the dependency of small firms on large platforms for services like data storage.
The hearing allowed members to learn more about the various uses of blockchain technology and hear from small business owners about the role it plays in their business.
“At present, people do not understand the benefits of blockchain – whenever the word “blockchain” is used, people hardly think of digitizing vital records or car titles,” said Shane McRann Bigelow, CEO of Ownum, LLC Cleveland, OH. “Something that they typically think of is cryptocurrency, but that is only its first mainstream use case. At its heart, blockchain is just a really sophisticated ledger that is extremely secure, the track record of the activities occurring on it are immutable, and it is great for handling lots of transactions.”
“In the 21st century, small businesses continue to be the engine of the American economy,” said Dawn Dickson, CEO of PopCom in Columbus, OH. “Therefore, it is particularly important that they are armed with the tools to compete in the global marketplace. The emerging crypto-economy can be a game-changer for traditional and technological enterprises.”
“Businesses need reliable and secure places to store data as much as they need electricity, and many of them pay cloud storage providers to hold and serve that data from their data centers,” said Marvin Ammori, General Counsel at Protocol Labs in Wilmington, DE. “Cloud storage is a multi-billion dollar market with high margins. If the cost of storage falls, small businesses will save money – money that they can invest in hiring, or R&D, or office space.”
“Blockchain technology’s ability to streamline processes, promote transparency, increase security, and decrease costs has to potential to transform the ways we do business,” said Chairwoman Velázquez. “As these technologies continue to develop worldwide, we want to ensure that innovators and entrepreneurs have the opportunities to expand upon the enormous potential of blockchain technologies to support small businesses and spur economic growth.”