The federal government in the United States is comprised of 50 independent states, in addition to U.S. territories and protectorates. Each state will develop their policy on commerce and business. While Congress has pending bills before the house on blockchain technology research and adoption, each state will develop its own public policy, as the case with Rhode Island that issued a request for proposals “aimed at exploring the viability of blockchain technology to improve state operations,” according to Daniel Kuhn. (Coindesk).
Surprisingly, less than a third of states have initiated a state or assembly bill to implement, regulate, or to set up committees to study blockchain technology for government agencies and departments. More recently, Rhode Island has joined the crowd in seeking an RFP for blockchain technology research.
Rhode Island Seeks RFP on Blockchain
With many overseas governments adopting blockchain and the IMF promoting central banks to create its own cryptocurrency it’s no wonder that states in America are inspired by their acceptance to blockchain technology. Rhode Island’s request for proposals (RFP) is aimed at exploring the viability of blockchain technology to improve state operations, writes Daniel Kuhn, for Coindesk.
— BitcoinAgile (@bitcoinagile) June 13, 2019
Liz Tanner, who is the Director of the Department of Business Regulation, said she “believes blockchain represents the modernization of government and would enable bureaucratic efficiency in the state.” One memo following the RFP suggests that areas of blockchain application can include use case for antifraud, contracts, records, notarization, registration and licensing, and much more.
With this announcement, Rhode Island joins 30 states in the U.S. to explore or pass a bill to research blockchain technology use case for their own state.
Blockchain Adoption by State
Heather Morton reported for the National Conference of State Legislatures with a review of all states adopting or considering state legislation at the state level.
Evolving blockchain applications for government use can include “online voting, medical records, insurance policies, property and real estate records, copyrights and licenses and supply chain tracking,” (Morton) and they can include smart contracts.
In her analysis, Morton identified 30 states (table below) that have introduced legislation relating to blockchain in 2019, of which twenty-seven1 bills and resolutions have been enacted or adopted. The following table shows blockchain bills considered by state.
As blockchain technology matures, industry has adopted the technology to meet many of its use case needs from supply chain, to smart contract, to the Internet of Things, and other use cases. Many of the same use case examples are applicable to government processes.
Now, as global governments embrace blockchain and international conferences include the IMF—blockchain’s relevancy is elevated. As a result, state governments are beginning to esteem blockchain as a viable option for records, contracts, or voting, to name a few use case examples.