Ohio Lawmakers Pitch Their State As a Future Hub for Blockchain

Lawmakers in the U.S. state of Ohio say they are interested in blockchain – but they're still figuring out how to put that enthusiasm into action.

Aug 24, 2018 at 1:15 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:48 p.m. UTC

Lawmakers in the U.S. state of Ohio say they are interested in blockchain – but they're still figuring out how to put that enthusiasm into action.

At a press conference on Aug. 23, Ohio House of Representatives Speaker Ryan Smith convened a group that included lawmakers, business owners and academics to discuss the Buckeye State's intent to attract both blockchain developers and companies.

Though no specific legislation related to blockchain was proposed, Smith said that he saw the technology as widely applicable in the public sector, including uses cases like the storage of birth certificates and marriage licenses in order to make those kinds of data more secure.

Furthermore, Smith contended that by working with universities closely, students can hone their expertise on blockchain before they graduate and start their careers. Ultimately, he is seeking to position Ohio as a possible hub for companies working with the tech.

Smith said:

"Because this is so new and this is just beginning to take shape, we can position Ohio out front."

As CoinDesk reported previously, Ohio introduced a bill back in May which sought to treat blockchain data and smart contracts as electronic records, as an effort to make the state a safe harbor for blockchain.

That measure was ultimately approved and signed by Gov. John Kasich, making Ohio one of a growing number of states that recognize the legal status of data stored on blockchain.

Ohio state capitol image via Shutterstock

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