This week I attended a virtual meeting organized by Texas Blockchain Committee (TBC) and hosted by the office of State Representative Tan Parker. In attendance, there were individuals and organizations based in Texas that are involved in developing practical applications of Blockchain technology.
iownit adopted Blockchain technology to power our platform because of its record-keeping, security, and scalability characteristics. We realized early on that a scalable way to create legally binding, digital records for investment transactions in private securities was through the Blockchain.
I was looking forward to learning more about how other companies are applying Blockchain in their respective industries. What was also encouraging to me was that there were quite a few members of the State Legislature in attendance at this virtual meeting.
A few key points that were discussed at the meeting resonated with me:
- Texas is exploring how to be at the forefront of Blockchain technology adoption and innovation. Texas is also looking to position itself as the leader among the states in promoting Blockchain innovation.
- There is growing recognition and acceptance that Blockchain technology has wide applications outside of the cryptocurrency world. In fact, during the meeting, no one mentioned Bitcoin, crypto-trading.
- Back in 2018 at the height of ICO and cryptocurrency mania, Brooking Institution labeled Texas as a reactionary when it came to Blockchain. Since then the attitude in Texas has evolved, in many ways thanks to Representative Parker. Representative Parker has pushed to initiate a proper study of Blockchain’s applicability at the state level, changing the conversation from why should we use Blockchain, to how can we use Blockchain?
- A major focus in Texas is adopting Blockchain technology in order to simplify, automate, and increase transparency in many of its critical sectors. Whether it is figuring out the distribution of relief funds for businesses or individuals impacted by COVID -19, improvements in the way the healthcare industry handles patient data, or other areas that require secure and transparent record management, Blockchain is gaining attention as a technology to modernize critical digital infrastructure.
- Representative Parker mentioned that the work is ongoing to introduce specific legislation at the state level to advance the usage of Blockchain technology during the next Texas legislative session which is in January 2021.
- It is worth noting that at the federal level there are currently over 30 bills related to Blockchain across the US House of Representatives and Senate. While a majority of these bills focus on the regulation of cryptocurrencies, there are a few bills that aim to promote the study of Blockchain usage more broadly at a federal level.
These are all welcome developments, especially in light of the attention given to the adoption of Blockchain by other countries, most notably China.
As a Texas-based fintech company that has been using Blockchain for the past 3 years, we are very encouraged by the broad interest in this technology. I hope that my peers in other verticals are able to leverage this powerful technology as we have at iownit in order to create greater efficiencies, and accuracy in their respective verticals. If the last few weeks have shown us anything, it’s how important our digital infrastructure is, our reliance on data, and the power technology has to help us during challenging times. However, in order for us to leverage technology during harder times, we need to invest in properly applying it during more stable times.
I believe this is a step in the right direction for Texas, and I hope we are able to expand the adoption of this technology, where relevant, at a national level. A coordinated national effort to study how technology, Blockchain or otherwise, can help us be better prepared for the future.