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Some observers have called the current evolution in blockchain technology bigger than the Internet.  At the same time, cryptocurrency, distributed ledgers, and game-like metaverse technology is becoming mainstream as Fortune 500 companies and the NBA create digital assets and platforms using blockchain technology.  The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift toward these technologies as more people sought access to new markets. 

It’s not just about Bitcoin any more.

Regulators are beginning to weigh in on the financial realities of the cryptocurrency technology evolution. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) want to protect investors.  Global central banks including the Fed are considering options.

  • What regulation is necessary to protect investors in digital assets?
  • How do we monitor financial transactions in metaverses?
  • What are the monetary policy implications of private cryptocurrency?
  • How do we encourage blockchain innovation without sacrificing prudential regulation?
  • How do we think about privacy issues in the metaverse?
  • How do we think about inequality in a world of virtual money?

The American approach is completely different than China, which has virtually banned private cryptocurrency initiative.  Congress has focused on taxation for those who would profit on this evolving technology, and the Federal Reserve has said publicly it will not ban cryptocurrency and is exploring its own.

Last month, the Wilson Center’s Technology Labs hosted a Masterclass series for Congressional staff and the Executive Branch to demystify created universes, a web reboot and alternative currencies.  In response to demand for continued programming, the Wilson Center's Science and Technology Innovation Program is pleased to announce the launch of a new initiative to identify policy and regulatory opportunities in the cryptocurrency universe as well as identify safety, security, and ethical concerns. 

To learn more or to sign up for future sessions, please email

Science and Technology Innovation Program

The Science and Technology Innovation Program (STIP) serves as the bridge between technologists, policymakers, industry, and global stakeholders.  Read more