Development and transparency in digital currencies focus of Nelson’s House Democratic Policy Committee

HARRISBURG, July 19 – Emerging digital and cryptocurrency, and positioning Pennsylvania to be an innovator for a digital currency future, was the focus of state Rep. Napoleon Nelson’s House Democratic Policy Committee hearing.

Nelson recently established the bipartisan House Emerging Technologies Caucus in Pennsylvania and has an extensive background in finance and technology. He brought together the following cast of world-renowned digital currency experts to inform the committee on what is blockchain and cryptocurrency and how Pennsylvania can position itself as a leader in adapting new technologies:

  • Andrew Bull, esquire | Bull Blockchain Law. 
  • Gerard Dache, Government Blockchain Association – Global.
  • Tonya Evans, founder | Advantage Evans Academy; professor, Penn State Dickinson School of Law.
  • Brian Knight, director of innovation and governance/ senior research fellow | Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
  • Scott Nissenbaum, president & CEO | Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA
  • Kevin Werbach, professor | University of Pennsylvania.
  • Miller Whitehouse-Levine, director of policy | Blockchain Association.

Additionally, written testimony was submitted by Blockchain Innovation Group of PA, an organization aimed at developing an environment that fosters innovation, employment and investment in the state.

"Technology advances quickly in this internet age – so quickly, in fact, that it's often difficult to keep up," said Nelson, D-Montgomery. "However, it's crucial that, as a legislature, we recognize the fast-approaching economic opportunities and regulatory challenges of emerging technology. Blockchain technology can and will have enormous impact on industry, including cybersecurity, health care, payment systems, and so much more. I started the bipartisan Emerging Technologies Caucus to help our legislative body be as prepared and knowledgeable as possible, since we will continue facing new challenges associated with new tech. The Policy Committee hearing is a critical introduction to what we're doing and why."

“I am excited we had the opportunity to have this conversation and am extremely grateful to Representative Nelson and the experts who gave of their time to inform our members on emerging blockchain and digital currencies,” said Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, chairman of the House Policy Committee. “I’m interested in seeing how these technologies can be used for not only currency, but protecting and preserving sensitive information for records such as health care and criminal justice and look forward to continued conversations.”

Nelson has introduced H.R. 121 that would establish a blockchain working group tasked to create a master plan for the growth of the blockchain industry in Pennsylvania; and H.B. 1370, which would establish a two-year financial technology sandbox program calling for the Department of Banking and Securities to work together with the Department of State to waive specific laws and regulations that do not currently permit blockchain-based financial technologies to be offered to consumers.

The bills will likely be referred to the House Commerce Committee for review and consideration.

For additional information about this and other House Democratic Policy Committee hearings, please visit or email