On May 8, 2018, Colorado passed Senate Bill 86, which focuses on eliminating barriers to the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT). In particular, the bill outlines methods for storing and transferring sensitive government data, makes sure counties and cities in Colorado do not levy high taxes against businesses that use this technology, and encourages the introduction of blockchain technology to college curricula within the state.
According to the bill, "In 2017, the cyber threat to the Colorado Government included six to eight million attempted attacks per day." According to supporters, the bill would reduce the threat of such hacks on government data. It requires the chief information security officers of the governor's Office of Information Technology (OIT) to "annually assess the data systems of each public agency for the benefits and costs of adopting and applying distributed ledger technologies such as blockchains." The Department of State and the executive director of the Department of Regulatory Agencies will also be required to explore DLT and blockchain solutions for encryption.
The bill not only focuses on how blockchain technology is able to change the way governments store and transfer sensitive data, but also has implications for Colorado business owners and private citizens. The bill stipulates:
"A county or municipal government shall not:
(a) impose a tax or fee on the use of distributed ledger technologies by any private person or entity; or
(b) require any private person or entity to obtain from any public agency any certificate, license, or permit to use distributed ledger technologies."
Such protections may help implement DLTs more fully into Coloradans' daily lives, but bringing DLT instruction into the state's colleges is arguably more important. After all, very few people know what DLT is and how it works, and even fewer know how to develop blockchain solutions.
The bill attempts to remedy this lack of knowledge by encouraging "institutions of higher education [to include] distributed ledger technologies within their curricula and research and development activities."
The passage of SB86 in Colorado marks another small but important legislative victory for the adoption of blockchain technology. A number of states, including Illinois, Arizona, and Hawaii have introduced legislation to explore how blockchain technology can not only keep government records safe and consistent, but potentially improve their economies.