Forbes business journalist Andrea Tinianow has reported that the State of Rhode Island has now issued a proposal to implement blockchain technology in its state governance.

According to her, the State of Rhode Island issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) on 31 May, asking for a proof of concept of blockchain implementation “to be more efficient, transparent, accurate, secure and business friendly”

According to Elizabeth M Tanner, Director of Rhode Island’s Department for Business Regulation:

 “…we want greater inter-connectivity between government, business and our citizens… we need bold ideas to make government better.”

Tanner is no stranger to innovation and digitilization, having signed up for Estonia’s e-residency program to join the Eastern European nation in its blockchain revolution. Estonia’s blueprint for a blockchain government and efficiency in government delivery of services is a model to be followed, according to her. And she is not alone in her thinking.

Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor as well as Governor Gina Raimondo are on the same page as Tanner with regards to blockchain technology.

And the response to their RFP is decidedly strong, with Tanner claiming that there is a deluge of phone inquiries now.

Prodded about the expense budget that will surely arise when implementation comes, Tanner was confident that funding would be forthcoming, since there was a strong desire from the State to become “the testing ground for creatives working in the blockchain space”. Incentives included a USD 50,000 voucher for entrepreneurs to test products and services at state universities, including Brown University, RISD and Johnson and Wales.

Rhode Island’s  money transmitter law, however, is vague regarding crypto. Deputy Director Beth Dwyer explained, “we want to make it crystal clear who needs a license and who doesn’t need a license. That’s why there is pending legislation.”

 

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