Florida’s Blockchain Task Force
When you think of Florida a few things come to mind — Alligators, beaches, and of course blockchain..well not yet but possibly soon. Recently Florida’s legislature passed Bill 1024 which was signed into law by Florida governor Ron DeSantis on May 23, 2019.
This represents a large step towards blockchain innovation within the sunshine state. The purpose of the task force is in short to study how Florida’s state, county, and municipal governments can benefit from a transition to blockchain-based services and management systems. Everything from record-keeping to finances to even voting are open to discussion. As a person who has lived in Florida their entire life and have grown up watching the other states make fun of our voting procedures, we would be incredibly hospitable towards blockchain-based voting systems.
Florida is not the first state to set up a blockchain task force. States like New York, Wyoming, and Illinois were already first in this regard. But what Florida’s case does show is that there is an increased willingness across the country that shows that governments, businesses, and individuals are approaching blockchain technology with an open mind.
The Blockchain Task force will consist of members from both the public and private sector. Some will be appointed by the Governor and others will be qualified individuals with an expertise in Blockchain technology. This task force must have their first meeting within 90 and must issue a full report within 180 days of their first meeting.
Areas that the report will include are:
The Blockchain Task Force will study blockchain technology including:
- Opportunities and risks associated with using blockchain technology for state and local governments. While there are many benefits, one of the responsibilities of the task force will be to point out areas where the implementation of the technology would be too costly or labor intensive for current staff.
- Different types of blockchains (public and private) and different consensus algorithms. Personally, I would like to see the government explore a Delegated Proof of Stake consensus model. Familiarity is sometimes one of the easiest ways to get a group of people to adopt a technology. DPoS systems take the good and the bad of democratic voting systems while harnessing the power of blockchain technology.
- Projects and cases currently under development in other states and local governments. Not only will cases within the country be examined but outside as well. Florida has always had a large amount of Foreign Direct Investment over the years (totaling over 14 billion annually) with over 300,000 Florida residents being employed by foreign-owned businesses.
- Legislative amendments to support secure paperless record-keeping, increase cyber security, improve interactions with citizens, and encourage blockchain innovation for Florida businesses.
- Identifying potential economic incentives for companies investing in blockchain technologies in collaboration with the state. Florida obviously does not want to fall behind in light of the growing trend of providing benefits for corporations using blockchain technology.
- Recommending projects for potential blockchain solutions that would improve services for citizens and businesses.
- Identifying the technical skills necessary to develop blockchain technology and ensuring that instruction in such skills is available at Florida secondary and post-secondary educational institutions. While there is no guarantee that every project in the current market landscape will be around ten years from now, blockchain as a technology will endure. As such, we need to prepare current students so they can work and innovate within a society that utilizes blockchain technology.
While the Florida Blockchain Task Force is not the dawn of a new blockchain age in Florida, it is the very first step in a long journey towards favorable legislation and advantageous benefits for corporations looking to innovate.
How Echo Delegate will play a role
I knew that when I started my delegate it would be a long road. I could not believe how quickly I was supported among the community and put in a forging position. For me that position is more than just making sure my node is running or that payments go out on time. It is also a position of trust. You trusted me to do right by the community and use these rewards to make the ARK Ecosystem better. It is in this regard that I can announce today that I have been applying and working towards getting elected to the Florida Blockchain Task Force. The task force was created under the Department of Financial Services and private sector individuals can be considered as long as they demonstrate an expertise in blockchain technology. At the time I felt that my involvement with ARK and my legal research put me in a unique position and I wanted to leverage it to see if we can create change at a larger scale.I’ll keep you posted on any developments.
However, I do not want to stop there. I have an upcoming talk this August at the University of St. Thomas. I will be educating students on the necessity of legal practitioners in blockchain and how they can get involved as researchers for Echo or just as community members in an active project. To build upon this, I will be launching the Florida Blockchain Legal Initiative. This will be a collection of resources and presentations geared towards establishing blockchain systems throughout Florida at the municipal and state level. By integrating the ARK Deployer into presentations, this will be a perfect way to quickly explain the different legal areas that need to be accounted for when you start your own blockchain. I am currently 20% finished with the website and will be launching it by early September. Currently I am working on the presentation structure and finalizing it for review. I would also like to share it with the ARK team to get their thoughts once its completed.
Happy to report that this favorable turn in Florida will not only help Echo Delegate but in turn our community. I look forward to giving you some more updates soon!
This article was made possible by the generous voters of Echo Delegate. Echo Delegate is one of the 51 forging delegates of the ARK Ecosystem. To learn more about what we do check us out here! ARK recently launched the ARK Deployer, a system which allows you to quickly and efficiently set up your own blockchain!