The S2297 bill also known as the Blockchain Initiative Task Force was signed by Governor Phil Murphy and is officially a law since last Friday. As stated in the official website of the state of New Jersey, the legislation aims to strengthen the state’s innovation economy.
As explained in the bill, the New Jersey Blockchain Initiative Force will:
“…study if State, county, and municipal governments can benefit from a transition to a Blockchain-based system for recordkeeping and service delivery and to develop and submit recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature concerning the potential for implementation of a Blockchain-based system.”
The first draft of the bill was created in March 2018 and last week it passed unanimously with only one nay. The mentioned potential use cases are medical and land records, banking and property auctions.
The New Jersey Blockchain Initiative Force will consist of 14 members and will have 180 days to present a study to the governor’s office and the state’s committee on science, tech and innovation.
The case for blockchain
This interest of the state of New Jersey towards the blockchain technology has increased vastly during the last two years, especially due to cybersecurity threats such as November 2018’s ransomware attack against the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). Back then, Governor John Hickenlooper announced the first ever cybersecurity tech emergency in the state, as nearly 400 servers were affected and the whole infrastructure was left frozen.
Data compromises are a serious issue and given the numerous requests from the government to access data files, the state IT department has been searching for the most secure method to share sensitive information.
Senator James Beach commented:
“In an age where digital information needs protecting, blockchain is a technological innovation that will protect us from hackers and those seeking to steal our information”.
Recently, the Colorado IT department stated that the potential solution against cybersecurity threats might be blockchain technology. While it is not a remedy for all potential risks, it does have its place in practically every environment where sensitive data could be exposed, and governments are quickly becoming aware of that fact.