The Attorney General of Vermont and four other state agencies have formed a working group to study blockchain technology.

Goals

According to a 10 December press release from the office of Attorney General TJ Donovan, “the Department of Financial Regulation (DFR), the Secretary of State, and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD)” are to examine the benefits and obstacles that come with blockchain technology in a bid to establish a consensus around the nascent sector.

It is worth noting that they will be actively seeking input from industry experts, associations and stakeholders.

After briefly describing how blockchain technology works, the press release goes on to state the current aims of the working group who are planning to begin work in January of 2019. Firstly, as mentioned earlier, they wish to see “what opportunities, challenges, and concerns blockchain may present”. The second point opens the door to quite an interesting line of dialog as the group wishes to determine whether or not “blockchain-specific regulation or legislation is necessary and, if so, of what type”. Finally, they will endeavor to work out how to protect consumers who use the technology directly, or “be affected by it”.

Donovan offered his comments: “In an era of persistent data hacks, security breaches, and online activity, exploring new and innovative ways to protect our data is essential… And, we must strive to balance economic opportunity with consumer protection.”

The Attorney General also added that the formation of this group will grant state regulatory agencies the chance to become educated on blockchain technology and establish a way to “engage with a technology that may represent a new business sector”.

Previously in Vermont

Vermont has been positively engaging with the blockchain ecosystem this year. Earlier in May, state lawmakers and Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed a bill allowing for the creation of “blockchain-based limited liability companies“.

This bill came into effect in July and, according to Scott, the new law will foster economic innovations through the encouraged experimentation of blockchain technologies, an emerging sector that has already penetrated a number of industries. At the time, he said: “This will help solidify Vermont’s position as an innovation leader and demonstrate our openness to trying new ideas.”

The bill also meant the beginning of Vermont’s educational foray into the potential applications of blockchain and the regulatory changes required for positive impacts in the future for local industries. Furthermore, it allows for Vermont’s ACCD, DFR and representatives from across academic and private sector backgrounds to host a fintech summit and explore the promotion of blockchain technology in the state’s government.

 

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