Press Release
Senator Tom Kean, Jr. Senator Tom Kean, Jr. (R-21)
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Contact: Erin Darreff / (609) 847-3600
August 8, 2019
Kean/Beach Bill Creating “Blockchain Task Force” is Now Law

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Bipartisan Law Will Modernize State Govt. Systems

Legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator James Beach to create the “NJ Blockchain Initiative Task Force” has been signed into law. The task force is charged with exploring the merits of using Blockchain technology to modernize government systems and safeguard personal data.

Sens. Tom Kean and James Beach’s legislation to create the “NJ Blockchain Initiative Task Force” has been signed into law. (©iStock)

“Blockchain technology is the new generation of currency and a new standard of secure exchange,” said Kean (R-21). “In this Internet age, local governments should be able to take advantage of blockchain’s capability to facilitate safe, paperless transactions that are impervious to cyber-attacks. The task force established by this law will seek out practical ways to implement this technology in a way that will benefit New Jersey’s taxpayers.”

“In an age where digital information needs protecting, blockchain is a technological innovation that will protect us from hackers and those seeking to steal our information,” said Beach (D-6). “I believe that whatever the taskforce decides, there is a place for blockchain to be used in local governments to protect them from the ever increasing dangers of the Internet.”

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, which is now law, 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.

Under the law, 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 also requires the task force to issue a report of their findings to the Governor and Legislature.

“Proudly branded the ‘Innovation State,’ New Jersey is well known as a leader in the field of revolutionary technology,” added Kean. “Our state should be at the forefront of the movement to utilize this innovation in the public sector. The future of blockchain technology is bright in the Garden State.”

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