Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy signed SB 443 into law, which establishes a blockchain working group to study the technology, according to public documents June 6. The working group is also tasked with shaping a plan to “[foster] the expansion of the blockchain industry in the state.”
The bill accordingly passed both legislative houses last month in a unanimous vote. In order to to make Connecticut “a leader in blockchain technology,” the group is instructed to:
“(1) Identify the economic growth and development opportunities presented by blockchain technology; (2) assess the existing blockchain industry in the state; (3) review workforce needs and academic programs required to build blockchain expertise across all relevant industries; and (4) make legislative recommendations that will help promote innovation and economic growth by reducing barriers to and expediting the expansion of the state’s blockchain industry.”
The bill says that the working group shall include no less than five members who obtain knowledge and experience in blockchain or representatives of industries that could “benefit from blockchain technology,” and no less than two members of the academic community. The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, or the commissioner’s designee, will serve as an ex-officio member of the group.
By no later than January 1, 2019, the group must submit a study and recommendations to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly, taking into consideration matters relating to commerce, banking and finance, as well as revenue and bonding.
In May, the New York state legislature progressed a similar bill to create a blockchain task force. If created, the New York task force would prepare a report for the governor, the temporary president of the state senate, and the speaker of the assembly by December 2019.
Various states in the US have taken the initiative to form their own legislation and regulations on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Last month, the Colorado state senate passed a bill that regulates using blockchain technology for government record keeping and cyber security. The bill also encourages institutions of higher education to include blockchain technologies within their curricula and research activities.
In March, the governor of Tennessee signed a bill that legally recognizes blockchain technology and smart contracts for electronic transactions. The bill also makes a provision that, “protects ownership rights of certain information secured by blockchain technology.”