Delaware Unveils Blockchain Initiative
The potential of blockchain to improve instant payments has earned the technology plenty of backers—and now the State of Delaware has climbed aboard the blockchain train. Governor Jack Markell this month announced the Delaware Blockchain Initiative, a set of programs aimed at encouraging the use and development of blockchain distributed ledger technologies by the many businesses incorporated in the state. Delaware is working closely with Symbiont, a provider of blockchain smart contracts, to develop the technical aspects of the initiative. The blockchain legal team from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP is developing the program’s legal infrastructure.
“Delaware has long been the jurisdiction of choice for the most innovative companies in the world,” said Governor Markell. “The Delaware Blockchain Initiative demonstrates the state’s commitment to ensuring this remains the case for the growing blockchain technology sector. By creating the opportunity for a broad range of corporations—from Fortune 500 companies to startups—to take advantage of distributed ledger and smart contract applications, we are laying the groundwork for a more modern, secure and transparent business environment for years to come.”
Best known as the technology underlying bitcoin, blockchain is being hailed by many in the payments industry as having the potential to improve a range of financial services by eliminating third-party intermediaries and verifying transactions instantaneously—thereby increasing transparency, cutting costs and speeding processing. The technology uses strong encryption to decrease the potential for fraud. And established payments players are taking notice; last year, a group of heavy hitters, including Visa Inc., Fiserv, Capital One and others made a $30 million equity investment in blockchain startup Chain Inc.