Blockchain Technology has been in existence for several years with the first instance of a cryptographically secured chain of blocks completed by Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta in 1991. The Blockchain is built upon a peer-to-peer network and a distributed time stampingserver.
While it is true that Stuart Haber and Scott Stornetta were some of the first to work on the technology, Satoshi Nakamoto takes the credit for advancing blockchain theories in a genuinely new way, by implementing Bitcoin in 2009. The successful creation of the digital currency through a distributed ledger triggered the interest of many in the community.
The New York Blockchain Bill
There seem to be only a few fields that the Blockchain cannot disrupt. From the area of medicine to food security it comes as no surprise that the technology is now entering politics in a serious way.
In a recent development, a New York Assembly member, Clyde Vanel has introduced four blockchain bills to the New York assembly. If passed into law, they could help solve issues revolving around election malpractices.
As reported by Government Technology on December 15, 2017, the Assemblyman noted that “in 2016, Kings County lost 120,000 voter records. [Vanel] felt [they] needed to secure and safeguard [their] election system. [Vanel] wondered if Blockchain (technology) was the solution.”
Vanel like many other Blockchain enthusiasts believes the innovation comes with many society-changing possibilities and is near impossible to hack. The fortress of security makes it highly attractive in ensuring fair and honest election procedures.
The politician has introduced four bills that would study the effects of Blockchain technology in the areas of securing voter records, election results, proper government record storage and the creation of a digital currency task force to study the impact cryptocurrencies have on the New York financial markets.
Vanel’s fourth bill looks to amend New York’s technology law to cover Blockchain technology, smart contracts and also provide legal understanding for digital signatures stored on the chain.
To make the bill a success, the Assemblyman has convinced some of his colleagues to co-sponsor the bill. The legislators in support of Vanel’s Blockchain bill include Rep.Ed Ra of R-Nassau County, Rep. Luis Sepulveda of D-Bronx, and Rep. Ron Kim of D-Whitestone.
One of the New York State Assembly members, Rep.Kim could not hide his excitement over the Blockchain bill.
“Blockchain excites me. This is a game changer. Imagine five years from now we might be able to register to vote or send health records instantaneously. New York must be in the forefront of this.”
Four Other States Explore Blockchain technology
New York is not the only state to be interested in studying the blockchain technology. The states of Illinois, Hawaii, Maine and North Dakota have all passed laws that encourage the study of the technology to enhance government record keeping.
Research results from a survey conducted by Government Technology last year show that high ranking government officials and business executives who understand the Blockchain technology and the possibilities it creates have considerable plans to implement the innovation soon.
Irakli Mirzashvili, a tax analyst with the tax policy division of Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, has said that “New York has a real stake in understanding the effect [of Blockchain] in an industry. It has been on the forefront of Bitcoin regulation.”
The analyst also iterated that he “wouldn’t be surprised if we see more activities along these lines.”