Vermont Legislators Close In On Blockchain Study

Lawmakers in Vermont have moved a step closer to sanctioning an official study into blockchain technology, and the many potential applications it could hold in state administration.

The study will look at ways Vermont can attract blockchain startups, as well as supporting their efforts to develop blockchain technology, with a view to attracting more jobs and tax revenue from the sector.

Senate Bill 135 details the proposals as set out by legislators, which are designed to examine the prospects for the blockchain industry, while analyzing the opportunities created by the technology.

Should the bill pass into law, it will see contributions from the Department of Financial Regulation, the Vermont Center for Legal Innovation, and the Attorney General’s Office, in pioneering the study and its findings.

The main aims of the proposals are threefold. Firstly, the state wants to “respond to these developing opportunities and concerns on an informed basis,” essentially equipping regulators and lawmakers with a better understanding of the risks and benefits tied up in the technology.

This will lead to the development of a regulatory system designed specifically to meet the needs of the technology, with a view to fostering growth and development in this fledgling industry.

The approach will be informed by the principles of not over-regulating, with a focus on encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship in the sector. According to the proposals, the study should look to find ways to steer clear of “avoidable risks for individuals and enterprises in the new e-economy."

The bill, which is expected to be passed into law, represents only the latest step in Vermont’s journey to embrace blockchain technology.

The state has been at the forefront of developing infrastructure for blockchain startups and development, including testing several blockchain applications of its own that aim to streamline government functions.

In doing so, the state joins others, like Hawaii and Maine, in being at the forefront of regulating blockchain development.

While the bill is another sign of Vermont’s dedication to the technology, it remains to be seen whether the eventual study could yield the benefits to the local economy and government functions envisaged by proponents of these changes.