Blockchain technology is at the forefront of discussion at the North Dakota House. There are four bills and one concurrent resolution about it.
Let’s talk about what blockchains are and what they might change in our state.
KX News spoke with two lawmakers who say blockchain technology is a way of sharing large amounts of information between devices.
It was first developed years ago alongside bitcoin, as a way to transfer the coins from an ATM to your cryptocurrency wallet. But it can be used for so much more, as I mentioned, the transferring of large files with the click of a button.
Blockchains are a distributed ledger technology, which brings security advantages. Because blockchains do not have one central storage location, there is not a vulnerable place for hackers to attack.
Republican Representative Nathan Toman explains, “It essentially takes out the middle man. It’s a witness of what’s happening, whether that’s on a financial thing like Bitcoin or on a contract.”
Democratic Representative Corey Mock adds, “If you’re a part of our blockchain and you access it one day, there’s going to be a record that shows that you jumped on. So if anything is changed or modified, everything is traced back to who used it and when.”
The purpose of the bills proposed is to open up the market for blockchain developers and users to come to North Dakota,
Representative Toman says, “So that’s the whole purpose of these is to say, ‘We’re open for business in the 21st-century technology realm.'”
Marlo Anderson runs several local businesses and has been using blockchain technology to transfer files. He says it’s much more efficient than online storage.
The business owner and tech guru adds, “You can actually just send a security code and they can pull it right from your computer.
He agrees it’s safer.
Anderson explains, “It just scatters that information across many, many different places, so it becomes very, very difficult to track.”
Right now, this technology is being used primarily in the public sector, but Representative Mock told us some government agencies are beginning to use it. North Dakota may jump on board in the near future.
Here’s a breakdown of the bills:
HB 1045 defines electronic transactions and blockchain technology and gives business owners, who use blockchain, the same rights and expectations as any other business.
HB 1048 calls for the use and research of blockchain technology by the North Dakota IT Department. Both received a ‘DO PASS’.
HB 1043 and 1049 got a ‘DO NOT PASS’.
The Concurrent Resolution requests a study by the legislature on the potential value of the technology and how they can implement it in our state government in the coming years.