Lawmakers See Ohio As A Blockchain Hub


While lawmakers in Ohio are still figuring out how to use the blockchain, they’re interesting in putting that technology into practice. On Thursday (August 23), Ohio House of Representatives Speaker Ryan Smith brought together a group to talk about the state’s intent to bring in blockchain firms and developers, Coindesk reported.

“Because this is so new and this is just beginning to take shape, we can position Ohio out front,” Smith said.

Smith said there are many applications for the blockchain: The technology could be used to store marriage licenses and birth certificates. And universities could also help students learn about the blockchain prior to graduating and beginning a career. However, blockchain-specific legislation was not proposed at the meeting.

Overall, Ohio seems poised to embrace blockchain. Early in August, Governor John Kasich signed legislation that will boost blockchain efforts, stretching across the record-keeping in a number of verticals, such as supply chain management. The legislation may spur an expansion of blockchain R&D efforts within the state, and the Dayton Daily News has said the state is notable, in part, for its Columbus-based “smart city” efforts.  Ohio is also the fifth-largest hub for the financial services industry, as counted at the state level.

And a pilot program in West Virginia is eyeing the ballot box. The state, according to Mashable, has contracted with Massachusetts-based company Voatz to make ballots available for troops stationed overseas via mobile devices. That tech-driven voting option may debut as soon as this year in the midterm elections, and the activity that takes place over the app will be recorded on a blockchain.

The site reports that, to use the app, those troops will have to submit photos showing documents and provide videos of themselves to ensure the person in the video matches the ID. Critics charge that the blockchain-based initiative will still be vulnerable to hacking.