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North Carolina's Lt. Gov. Forest launches blockchain initiative, creates dedicated task force

Thu, 18 Jul 2019, 03:37 am UTC

North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest launched an initiative to look into the “unique attributes and uses-cases” of blockchain technology.

As announced on his website, the North Carolina Blockchain Initiative will be a “non-partisan,” with a goal to develop recommendations on how to promote economic growth and cost efficiencies. It also aims to position the state as a leader in the field of technological innovation.

Other than blockchain technology, the initiative will also study the potential of virtual assets, smart contracts, and digital tokens.

It is my hope to provide a strategy to share with our General Assembly, Department of Insurance, Department of the State Treasurer, and other state agencies that will increase awareness, streamline regulatory oversight, and modernize state government,” Forest said.

The initiative will be built upon the Money Transmitters Act of 2016, which defined virtual currency and provided exemptions for virtual currency miners and blockchain software providers.

Forest has also organized a task force to investigate the applications for blockchain technology. According to the announcement, the initiative will be co-chaired by North Carolina Digital Economy Hub Co-Founder Faruk Okcetin, Chamber of Digital Commerce Director of Member Services Daniel Spuller, and Warp Institute’s Eric Porper.

North Carolina had always been kind of at the forefront of this, but there hadn’t been an opportunity for a full-fledged initiative or focused task force since that bill was passed and signed,” Spuller told Government Technology.

Currently, the group is composed of 12 members from academia and the private sector, and they are expected to review how digital identities, record-keeping, and insurance claims management are being deployed by government agencies.

The task force will also provide North Carolina residents the chance to share their feedback, ideas, and submissions.

This is a task force, it’s not an official governmental authority by any means,” Spuller said.

The group aims to finish its research by the end of this year or early next year and present the initiative’s findings to the General Assembly in 2020.

Meanwhile, the state of Nevada has shown full support of blockchain initiatives after it recently passed several bills that aimed to improve access and investments related to projects that make use of digital ledger technology.

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