CLEVELAND, Ohio — A bill introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives this week would allow government entities, including the state government, to adopt blockchain technology.
The legislation is the latest step in Ohio’s move toward building a legal framework for so-called distributed ledger and blockchain technology.
Sponsor Ohio Rep. Rick Carfagna did not return calls for comment on the bill Thursday afternoon.
Distributed ledger technology creates a decentralized online record for transactions. Blockchain is one form of distributed ledger technology.
Government applications could include recording car titles or hunting licenses online, where they would be accessible through multiple agencies.
Last spring, entrepreneur Bernie Moreno started a civic effort in Cleveland to make the city a blockchain hub. The city hosted the state’s first blockchain conference, Solutions, which sold out in December.
Gov. John Kasich signed a cybersecurity bill in August 2018 which updated Ohio’s laws regarding electronic transactions to include blockchain-based transactions.
The change provided legal support for businesses to use the technology, reported cleveland.com’s Andrew J. Tobias.
Ohio also became the first state to allow businesses to use cryptocurrency to pay their taxes in November 2018. That initiative came though then-Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel’s office. When asked in November, current Treasurer Robert Sprague was noncommittal as to whether he’ll continue the program.
Both Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish spoke about how start-ups can work with the government to solve problems at an event Thursday, reported cleveland.com’s Courtney Astolfi.
FastForward Cuyahoga also featured a panel of startups who have used blockchain or other technology in partnership with local governments.
About ten other states have passed blockchain-related legislation since 2016, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That includes Wyoming, which so far has passed 13 laws to try and make the state a center for blockchain technology, according to the Casper Star-Tribune.