A meeting of leading figures in academics, business and lawmakers from the U.S. State of Ohio have met to discuss plans to position the state as a hub for blockchain technology development in the United States.
Ryan Smith, the convener of the meeting and the Speaker of Ohio House of Representatives told the gathering that blockchain had the potential to transform public sector delivery by improving the security of storing and circulating state residents’ sensitive data, including marriage licenses and birth and death certificates.
Smith called on the academic community in Ohio to develop programs that would allow students to gain expertise in the nascent technology while also calling on the business community to create an enabling environment within the state that would allow blockchain talent to thrive.
“Because this is so new and this is just beginning to take shape, we can position Ohio out front.”
In his remarks, Professor Hesham El Gamal of Ohio State University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, described blockchain as an exciting new field of academic research adding that the technology is allowing for “unexpected” and “exciting” applications to emerge in finance and healthcare delivery.
Also speaking, Matt Wald, president and CEO of cybersecurity and analytics lab Columbus Collaboratory told the gathering that in addition to providing seamless financial transactions, blockchain could provide new solutions in supply chain management and legal procedures.
Ohio is one of several U.S. states looking to place themselves front and center of the blockchain revolution. In April the State of Arizona signed into law a bill allowing corporations to hold and share data on a blockchain. A year before, the state’s Revised Statutes stipulated that data “written” and stored on a blockchain is “immutable and auditable and provides an uncensored truth.”