Blockchain got a boost last week after the Ohio House Of Representatives introduced a bill that would let state government agencies use blockchain technology.
According to Cleavland.com, the bill sponsored by Ohio Representative Rick Caragna is part of the state’s efforts to build a legal framework for the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. If the bill passes, government agencies in Ohio could use blockchain for recording car titles or tracking hunting licenses online, noted the report. Ohio already sees blockchain being used to store marriage licenses and birth certificates, among other potential things.
Ohio has been pushing to incorporate blockchain into government for some time. In the summer former Governor John Kasich signed a cybersecurity bill that enables electronic payments to include blockchain-based ones. The legislation was aimed at spurring the expansion of blockchain R&D efforts within the state. Ohio is hoping its Columbus-based “smart city” efforts will be attractive to the blockchain industry. Ohio is also the fifth-largest hub for the financial services industry. The state is leveraging those two attributes to lure blockchain developers and companies to Ohio.
It’s not the first time Ohio has tried to be ahead with blockchain and digital tokens. It is the first state to let businesses pay their taxes with cryptocurrency. The program was put in place under former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel. It’s not clear if current Treasurer Robert Sprague will continue it or whether it will eventually resonate with businesses. At the early part of this year Overstock, the online retailer and blockchain company, said it would take Ohio up on its offer to pay taxes with bitcoin, becoming the first major U.S. company to pay taxes with bitcoin. “We applaud Overstock for becoming the first national brand in America to register to pay taxes via cryptocurrency,” Mandel said in a press release at the same time. “Their embrace of blockchain technology was ahead of its time, and we’re proud to have them join OhioCrypto.com.”