New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

Kean/Beach Blockchain Task Force Passes Senate

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Legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-21) and Senator James Beach (D-6) to establish a task force charged with exploring the merits of using Blockchain technology to modernize government systems and safeguard personal data has passed the New Jersey State Senate.

The New Jersey Senate has approved a bill by Sens. Tom Kean and James Beach establishing a task force to explore the merits of using Blockchain technology to modernize government systems and safeguard personal data. (©iStock)

“Blockchain is not a myth, or a passing fad. This technology has evolved tremendously since the early days of Bitcoin and crypto-currency. The more I learn about Blockchain, the more I have come to see this as a great way for government offices to increase efficiency and secure the electronic systems we use every day to aid and protect residents statewide,” Senator Kean said. “The task force established by our bill will look for cost-effective ways to implement this technology in a way that can benefit our taxpayers.”

Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger or decentralized database that keeps records of digital transactions.

Rather than having a central administrator, such as a traditional bank, government body, or accountant monitor a network; a distributed ledger has a network of replicated databases, which are synchronized via the Internet and visible to anyone within the network.

As established under S-2297, the “NJ Blockchain Initiative Task Force” would study if State or local governments can benefit from a transition to a Blockchain-based system for recordkeeping and service delivery.

“Blockchain technology already provides advanced cybersecurity protections across of variety of industries,” Senator James Beach (D- Burlington/Camden) said. “Establishing a NJ Blockchain Initiative Taskforce would provide an opportunity for state government to explore how streamlined electronic processes may enhance electronic government services and ensure that data collection is secure against cyber threats.”

Under the bill, the task force would take a practical look at whether Blockchain offers government better, safer, and more trustworthy avenues by which to improve New Jersey citizens’ relationships and interactions with government.

Utilizing Blockchain technology could also help safeguard government systems from cyber-security attacks. Recently, federal authorities charged two Iranian men for carrying out the 2017 ransomware attack on Newark’s city government, according to a report by NJ Spotlight.

Some supporters of Blockchain technology have stated that “technology is far more secure system because it relies on a complex, cryptography-based system in which a shared database links or ‘chains’ data together across a large number of peers. That makes it virtually impossible to make any alterations without being discovered,” according to that report.

S-2297 would also require the task force to issue a report of their findings to the Governor and Legislature.

“Since Thomas Edison invented the light bulb here more than a century ago, New Jersey has been known as a leader in the field of innovation technology. We can uphold Edison’s legacy, by utilizing cutting-edge advancements, such as Blockchain,” Kean said. “New Jersey should absolutely be at the forefront of the movement to use this revolutionary tool in the public sector.”

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