MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) Several state agencies are planning to join forces to study how the emerging technology of blockchain can grow the state's economy.
Blockchain is a secure electronic record-keeping system that can't be modified or amended. State officials are hoping to figure out how how it can help the state and what the challenges and dangers might be.
The technology is often associated with the crypto-currency Bitcoin. But Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan says it could be a useful tool for commerce. The working group will include the attorney general's office, the Department of Financial Regulation, the Secretary of State's office and the Agency of Commerce. They will take a look at how blockchain can be used in Vermont and also explore whether state regulation and consumer protection measures are needed.
Donovan says he thinks the technology can aid agriculture and other industries because of its ability to securely track products. "I think food is a big one -- tracking where food is coming from, all the way from farm to table. Whether or not we're looking at a potential marijuana industry in this state, to make sure that it's safe, that it's not gonna impact public health or the public. So, it really gives you, I think, security, in tracking back where things went," Donovan said.
Lawmakers have also taken notice of blockchain. The Legislature passed a law earlier this year calling on the Department of Financial Regulation to study how blockchain can work in the insurance and banking industries.