Vermont Bill S.269 moved to the governor's desk for signature on Saturday after passage by the state's House of Representatives and Senate. The bill was sponsored by Senator Alison Clarkson, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs. It aims to "implement strategies relating to blockchain, cryptocurrency, and financial technology" in a bid to make regulations more efficient and promote FinTech adoption by both government agencies and private businesses.
Other bills exploring blockchain technology have made it through states' legislatures recently, including Senate Bill 86 in Colorado, which mandated that its Office of Information Technology actively assess the benefits of using blockchain technology within state agencies.
Unique to Vermont's bill is language calling for a FinTech Summit to be held sometime after the act takes effect on July 1, 2018. The state's Agency of Commerce and Community Development is responsible for the summit, which it will coordinate alongside several public colleges and universities, including the University of Vermont.
The summit has three objectives:
"(1) explore legal and regulatory mechanisms to promote the adoption of financial technology in State government; (2) explore opportunities to promote financial technology and economic development in the private sector, including in the areas of banking, insurance, retail and service businesses, and cryptocurrency providers and proponents; and (3) explore opportunities to integrate financial technology into secondary and postsecondary education in Vermont."
The bill also requires the state's Department of Financial Regulation to review potential applications of blockchain technology for insurance and e-banking. The department must report its findings back to the House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development and the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs by January 15, 2019.