Virginia Government Aims to Create Blockchain Study Group

Joint subcommittee to be funded by cryptocurrency wallet.

Virginia lawmakers are looking to form a study group dedicated to blockchain research and its impact when implemented across government services.

Should House Joint Resolution 153 come to fruition, a 13-member joint subcommittee (eight legislative members, four non-legislative members, and one ex officio member) would be established “to study the potential implementation of blockchain technology in state recordkeeping, information storage, and service delivery,” the resolution reads.

Additional topics the proposal seeks to pinpoint are opportunities and risks the cryptocurrency technology present to state recordkeeping, different types of blockchain and the feasibility of implementation, how related projects and use cases other states and nations are developing can apply to Virginia; the case for early blockchain adoption stimulating the state’s information technology industry (which has the second-highest mass of information technology workers in the US, according to the document); and what changes to current Commonwealth laws can be made to support blockchain.

The Office of the Clerk and the House of Delegates will provide administrative staff support for the group, with the Division of Legislative Services providing legal, research, policy, analysis, and other services the group requests. The Virginia Information Technologies Agency will provide the joint subcommittee technical assistance, with all Commonwealth agencies to assist the group upon request.

The study group is unlikely to receive a budget per-se, but instead will be privately funded via a cryptocurrency wallet provided by the House of Delegates.

For the 2018 interim, the joint subcommittee will hold four meetings, completing them by November 30.

Once completed, the chairman must submit an executive summary of the group’s findings and recommendations to the Division of Legislative Automated Systems by the first day of the 2019 General Assembly regular session. According to the proposal, the executive summary “shall state whether the joint subcommittee intends to submit to the General Assembly and the Governor a report of its findings and recommendations for publication as a House or Senate document.”

The executive summary and report will be posted on the General Assembly’s website.


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