Blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin and other crypto-currencies, holds at least as much promise as bitcoin does for changing business and finance (although actually taking advantage of that promise is proving trickier than expected).

The state of Vermont has been at the forefront of governments looking at whether to adopt the technology as a way to make itself more efficient, and although initial efforts weren’t overly promising, as I reported a year ago, they’re still at it: The lawmakers and governor just created a law (S-0135) that would allow broader business and legal application of blockchain technology, and requires the Center for Legal Innovation at Vermont Law School, the Commissioner of Financial Regulation, the Secretary of Commerce and Community Development, and the Vermont Attorney General to prepare a joint report for the General Assembly on “measurable goals and outcomes” concerning “potential opportunities and risks presented by developments in financial technology.”

Vermont hopes that being blockchain friendly will lure financial technology firms to its borders.

The Vermont legislature has already passed a law (House Bill 868) that defined blockchain as “a mathematically secured, chronological, and decentralized consensus ledger or database,” and recognized blockchain-notarized documents as having legal bearing in a court of law.


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