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Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Attorney General and State Agencies Launch Working Group to Study Blockchain Technology

December 10, 2018

Contact: Christopher Curtis, Chief Public Protection Division, 802-828-3171.

Attorney General T.J. Donovan announced that four State agencies established a working group to study the opportunities and challenges presented by Blockchain technology. In addition to the Attorney General’s Office, the Department of Financial Regulation (DFR), the Secretary of State, and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) will make up the working group. The working group will engage stakeholders and interested industry experts.

A blockchain is fundamentally a data or record-keeping technology, or a distributed ledger of records that are linked and secured through cryptography. Each “block” in the blockchain contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block and a timestamp – along with encrypted transaction data. Blockchain technology allows parties to record transactions in a secure way that resists modification. Because the technology is new, the working group will convene to determine: 1) what opportunities, challenges, and concerns blockchain may present; 2) whether blockchain-specific regulation or legislation is necessary and, if so, of what type; and 3) how best to protect consumers who may use Blockchain technology or be affected by it.

“In an era of persistent data hacks, security breaches, and online activity, exploring new and innovative ways to protect our data is essential,” said Attorney General Donovan. “And, we must strive to balance economic opportunity with consumer protection.” Donovan says a working group will allow state regulatory agencies an opportunity to learn about Blockchain technology and determine how best to engage with a technology that may represent a new business sector.

Members of the working group include:

Office of the Attorney General (Christopher Curtis, Chief, Public Protection Division, or designee)
Department of Financial Regulation (Jill Rickard, Director of Policy, or designee)
Secretary of State (Chris Winters, Deputy Secretary of State, or designee)
Agency of Commerce and Community Development (Nicholas Grimley, Director of Entrepreneurship and Tech Commercialization, or designee)

The working group will also seek input from stakeholders, associations, and other industry experts.
The Attorney General said working group members plan to meet and commence work in January of 2019.

Last modified: December 13, 2018