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State of Illinois Releases Blockchain Task Force Report

The first official government report in Illinois on blockchain is being released today on the use and opportunities available through blockchain and distributed technologies in the public arena. The Illinois Blockchain Task Force, consisting of appointed members of the General Assembly, as well as agency representatives and public entities involved in early efforts, have been meeting over the past four months to discuss and study distributed ledger technology. The report released today is the result of that effort.

Kirk Lonbom, Acting Secretary for the Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology (DoIT) commented, “Blockchain offers Illinois the opportunity to advance the state’s overall digital transformation and continue the establishment of Illinois as the nation’s first “Smart State”. Blockchain can play a key role in creating a highly efficient, hyper-connected and secure government, which translates into better services for our citizens. We are excited to further explore the value-add capabilities that blockchain technologies could provide.”

The Illinois Blockchain Initiative (IBI) was officially announced on November 30, 2016 to explore how blockchain can help to spur economic development in the state. The Illinois Blockchain Task Force was then charged by House Joint Resolution 25, which was adopted by both houses on June 28, 2017, to study aspects of distributed ledger technology that includes opportunities and risks associated with using blockchain, different types of blockchains (public and private), as well as projects and use cases in other states and domains that Illinois could consider utilizing.

“The surface of using Blockchain and distributed ledger technology is just being scratched and Illinois has been intentionally laying the groundwork to benefit economically through business growth, as well as finding practical uses for our citizens,” stated IL State Rep. Keith Wheeler, R-50th District. “It was an honor to be appointed and I look forward to supporting the legislative recommendations of the task force.”

Blockchain based systems provide a mechanism for improving recordkeeping and service delivery strategies. The task force examined these areas in detail to explore the benefits for Illinois. Blockchain has the potential to transform the delivery of public and private services, redefine the relationship between government and the citizen in terms of data sharing, transparency and trust and make a leading contribution to the state’s digital transformation.

“The Illinois Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Task Force worked diligently to produce a report Illinoisans can be proud of,” commented IL State Rep. Mike Zalewski, D-23rd District. “The Illinois Blockchain Initiative is leading the way on making sure our state is a welcoming place for innovators of this emerging technology. Over the coming months, my colleagues and I will study the legislative recommendations of the Report to see what can be implemented into law. Thanks to the hard work of the DoIT and IBI staff for a thoughtful, collaborative process.”

The final blockchain report is hosted on the Inter-Planetary File System (IPFS) a blockchain and distributed ledger related peer-to-peer file storage system. Continued development of blockchain pilot projects is expected to further the exploration of distributed ledger technology in Illinois.