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Congressman Ralph Abraham

Representing the 5th District of Louisiana

Abraham holds hearing on blockchain technology

February 14, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto and chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Oversight Subcommittee, held a hearing Wednesday to examine issues surrounding the use of blockchain technology.

Though most commonly associated with the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, blockchain technology has proven to have broad potential to help businesses improve efficiency, generate savings and enhance security. For example, a grocery store chain can use it to track produce throughout its journey from a farm to a customer's table.

Dr. Abraham, who chaired his first Oversight Subcommittee today, focused his questioning on how blockchain users would ensure that food security would be maintained and enhanced if the system was implemented.

"Blockchain technology has a lot of potential to streamline systems, making them more efficient and cost effective. Today's hearing was an important step to make sure we remain on the forefront of this emerging technology so that we can better assess threats and prevent security breaches, particularly when it comes to food security. I thank the witnesses for testifying today and look forward to continuing to examine this issue," Dr. Abraham said.

Witnesses included Frank Yiannas, vice president of food security for Walmart; Chris Jaikaran, a cybersecurity analyst with the Congressional Research Service; Charles Romine, director of a research lab within the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); and Gennaro "Jerry" Cuomo, an IBM fellow.

To watch Dr. Abraham's opening statement, click here. To read it, click here.

To see Dr. Abraham's questions regarding food security, click here.

To watch the full hearing, click here.