New Hawaii bill seeks to create state-led blockchain working group

A new partisan bill introduced by Democrats in Hawaii’s House of Representatives on Monday, Jan. 26, is advocating a targeted strategy for studying and supporting the use of blockchain technology by individuals, firms and state agencies.

Hawaii House Bill 622 (HB622) calls for the passage of an act that would require the state’s economic development agency, the Hawaii technology development corporation, to create a blockchain working group that would both recommend a definition for blockchain and offer recommendations for the adoption of the technology. The introduction to HB622 states:

“The legislature recognizes that the distributed ledger format that blockchain technology functions as can be leveraged to support an array of government and public-sector applications, including land registration, identity management, supply chain traceability, health care, corporate registration, taxation, voting, digital currency and payments, and legal entities management. Such a technology requires an educated and thorough approach so that the implementation of blockchain technology in the State does not impede innovation and growth.”

The bill provides a detailed outline of how the proposed working group would be set up. It suggests that the chairperson of the board of directors at the Hawaii technology development corporation would serve as the chair of a newly-created task force that would recruit members from various state agencies to contribute their input. In addition to agency designees, the task force would invite representatives from multiple entities in civil society.

These representatives would include specialists from the ICT sectors, among them technology manufacturers, software and service providers; enterprises of all scales; blockchain technology experts; academic researchers; rural and urban stakeholders; nonprofit organizations and consumer advocacy groups, among others. The bill specifies that many of these civil society representatives should be invited…

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