The Colorado Senate is considering a bill to utilize blockchain or other distributed ledger technology for a variety of purposes, including to improve the state government’s operations and cybersecurity.

Senate Bill 18-086 (which was introduced on January 16, 2018) focuses on exploring a number of “transformative improvements” that distributed ledger technologies can offer to state governments, including reducing fraud in state-controlled programs, mitigating risk through improved risk evaluation and quantification, and enhancing cybersecurity and protection of personal information.The bill highlights inefficiencies in the Colorado state government’s existing practices (such as paper-only records and individual agencies’ isolated data repositories that are difficult for other government entities to access), as well as threats posed by identity thieves who target public records in order to penetrate corporate records or steal personal information. The bill seeks to address such inefficiencies and threats through distributed ledger technology.

If the bill is ratified, certain Colorado state entities would be required to do the following, among other things:

  • Annually assess the benefits and costs of implementing distributed ledger technology,
  • Consider developing public-private partnerships and contracts to capitalize on encryption technology,
  • Consider research, development and implementation of encryption and data integrity techniques,
  • Consider using distributed ledger technologies when accepting business licensing records and distributing Colorado Department of State data to other departments and agencies, and
  • Consider secure encryption methods to improve data security and protect against falsification of records.

Additionally, the bill encourages the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (along with institutions of higher learning and nonprofit organizations that partner with the university) to incorporate distributed ledger technologies into its curricula and research and development activities.

We will be monitoring the progress of this bill, as well as other blockchain-related developments in state legislatures.