Lawmakers around the world have already started taking a long look at how blockchain can benefit them. On Jan. 23rd, the State of Virginia announced its intent to put together a subcommittee to research blockchain, its applications, and see how it could be applied to the state government to increase efficiency.
If the bill in question is enacted, the subcommittee will be formed, and Virginia will begin to seek out government applications for distributed ledger technology and blockchain. It is worth noting that Virginia has “the second highest concentration of IT workers in the nation.”
What areas are being studied?
Virginia intends to study the ways in which blockchain can be used to consolidate government computing systems, manage banking data, medical records, elections, voter registration records, land records, and even property auctions.
Government systems have become known for being slow, spread out, and very much proprietary. Blockchain is a solution that the state believes can reduce their costs for maintenance and technology implementation.
Virginia hopes to expand the ability of smaller jurisdictions to participate in electronically offered government services without fronting the cost of expensive custom-made solutions or struggling to access scattered databases.
What impact can blockchain have on the state?
Blockchain is being implemented by several governments around the world. Vermont is experimenting with a pilot program through a partnership with Propy and Dubai is placing their records on the blockchain.
One of the chief potential benefits of switching to blockchain technology is cost reduction. Cost reduction and efficiency seem to be two areas which have piqued the interest of Virginia.
Who will make up the subcommittee?
According to the bill, the subcommittee will be composed of the following ratios of people:
The joint subcommittee shall have a total membership of 13 members that shall consist of eight legislative members, four non-legislative citizen members, and one ex officio member.
The subcommittee members will be pulled from pre-existing positions according to the following conditions:
<. . .> five members of the House of Delegates to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates in accordance with the principles of proportional representation contained in the Rules of the House of Delegates; three members of the Senate to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules; two non legislative citizen members who are members of the technology industry and have demonstrated knowledge of blockchain technology and its uses to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates; and two non legislative citizen members who are members of the technology industry and have demonstrated knowledge of blockchain technology to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules.