Illinois Blockchain Task Force Releases First Official Government Report

Announcements, Blockchain | February 2, 2018 By:

The Illinois Blockchain Task Force has released its first report on blockchain technology and its uses for safely storing government documents.

In 2016, the state of Illinois received 22 responses from companies about possible blockchain uses through a request for information. The state has appointed Jennifer O’Rourke, the state’s deputy director at the Office of Entrepreneurship Innovation & Technology, to be its first blockchain liaison and lead the Illinois Blockchain Initiative.

This resulted in the creation of the Illinois Blockchain Task Force, a group of appointed members from the state’s general assembly, as well as agency representatives and public entities. It was tasked to study how and if state, county, and municipal governments can benefit from a transition to a blockchain system for record-keeping and service delivery.

In its first report filed on Jan. 31, the task force said “it believes that blockchain technology and its built-in encryption can facilitate highly-secure methods for interacting with government and keeping paperless records, increasing data accuracy and providing better cybersecurity protections for Illinois residents. Though the technology still needs refinement, government has an opportunity to help shape and adopt innovative solutions.”

According to the task force, some of the promises around blockchain include creating a secure platform that enables immutable and irrevocable digital identities; having the ability to provide universal access to financial services and government benefits; and fueling greater economic participation that will spur a stronger economy.

The task force has also published a database that tracks worldwide initiatives that are currently exploring blockchain and distributed ledger technologies in public sectors.