Illinois Legislature Unanimously Adopts Joint Resolution For Creation Of Blockchain Task Force

On Wednesday, June 28, the Illinois General Assembly passed HJR 25, entitled “Blockchain Task Force.”

The resolution notes that blockchain technology offers “opportunities for efficiency, cost savings, and cybersecurity [which] deserve legislative study.” As such, the resolution would create the Illinois Legislative Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Task Force.

As previously reported by ETHNews, the Task Force will research how state and local governments might benefit from blockchain technology.

Per the resolution, “Blockchain technology can reduce the prevalence of government’s disparate, computer systems, databases, and custom-built software interfaces, reducing costs associated with maintenance and implementation and allowing more regions of the state to participate in electronic government services.”

The text also acknowledges that the state recently formed the Illinois Blockchain Initiative to encourage “regulatory exchange with technology firms, software developers, and service providers.”

The Task Force will have six areas of focus for research and analysis:

  1. Opportunities and risks associated with using blockchain and distributed ledger technology;
  2. Different types of blockchains, both public and private, and different consensus algorithms;
  3. Projects and use cases currently under development in other states and nations, and how those cases could be applied in Illinois;
  4. How current state laws can be modified to support secure, paperless recordkeeping;
  5. The State Public Key Infrastructure and digital signatures; and
  6. Official reports and recommendations from the Illinois Blockchain Initiative.

In an e-mail to ETHNews, Representative Michael Zalewski, a sponsor of the resolution, said, "Blockchain technology has the potential to change government for the better by making it more efficient, transparent and secure. I'm pleased that the General Assembly has resolved to begin the important work of integrating Blockchain technology into a state government."

HJR 25 received bipartisan sponsorship and unanimous support in the Illinois House and Senate. With the passage of the resolution, the Blockchain Task Force is instructed to present its findings and recommendations to the Illinois General Assembly on or before January 1, 2018.