Governor’s Blockchain Initiative promotes digital business in Delaware

    Blockchain by deavmi (Own work)via Wikimedia Commons

    Blockchain by deavmi (Own work)via Wikimedia Commons

    In an effort to keep Delaware businesses on the cutting-edge, Governor Jack Markell announced a new technology initiative earlier this week.

    “Delaware has long been the jurisdiction of choice for the most innovative companies in the world,” Markell said in a press release. “The Delaware Blockchain Initiative demonstrates the state’s commitment to ensuring this remains the case for the growing blockchain technology sector.”

    Blockchain is known as the technology substructure of bitcoin digital currency, allowing a network of computers to share a digital ledger of transactions using cryptography to ensure security.

    The governor’s office explained in an email that potential applications of blockchain are limitless, “It could be applied to many kinds of sophisticated financial/business transactions and we are interested in supporting the technology to increase access and remain on the cutting edge of the new economy.”

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    Technology company Symbiont and a legal team from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP will advise on the technical aspects of the initiative, while the state hopes to create a “proving ground” for smart contracts.

    Smart contracts are transactions programmed to happen at certain times under specified circumstances. As explained by Gartner analyst, Ray Valdez, during a Gartner Symposium in October, “In one scenario, I can give my teenage son $20. If I give him cash I don’t know what he’s going to spend it on. In the future, that money would have rules associated with it: You can’t buy fast food, you can only spend it on a movie, but you can’t go to a movie during the day.”

    In a press release, Markell went on to say, “By creating the opportunity for a broad range of corporations – from Fortune 500 companies to startups – to take advantage of distributed ledger and smart contract applications, we are laying the groundwork for a more modern, secure and transparent business environment for years to come.”

    The governor will unveil details of the Delaware Blockchain Initiative during his keynote presentation at the Consensus 2016 conference, a blockchain technology summit, in New York City on May 2nd.

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