Blockchain Working Group Established By Vermont Government

News | December 12, 2018 By:

T.J. Donovan, attorney general of the state government of Vermont, has announced that four state agencies have established a working group to study the opportunities and challenges presented by blockchain technology.

In addition to the Attorney General’s Office, the working group will include the Department of Financial Regulation (DFR), the Secretary of State, and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD).

The working group will seek input from stakeholders, associations, and other industry experts to determine what opportunities, challenges, and concerns blockchain may present, whether blockchain-specific regulation or legislation is necessary, and how to best protect consumers who may use blockchain technology or be affected by it. The working group members plan to meet and commence work in January 2019.

“In an era of persistent data hacks, security breaches, and online activity, exploring new and innovative ways to protect our data is essential,” said Donovan. “And, we must strive to balance economic opportunity with consumer protection.”

Donovan added that he believes that the working group will allow state regulatory agencies to better understand blockchain technology and determine how best to engage with a technology that may represent a new business sector.

Vermont has been one of the most aggressive in passing blockchain-friendly legislation. The state passed two blockchain-related bills in 2016 and 2017. The first bill passed by the Vermont Assembly allowed for authentication of an object, such as artwork, precious stones or high-value footwear, through blockchain technology. The second bill passed in the spring of 2017 allowed the state to modify its money transmission rules with a definition for virtual currency, allowing money transmitters to hold digital currencies as a kind of “permissible investment.”

In May of this year, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed Senate Bill 269 into law to encourage blockchain business development in the state.