Delaware inks $738,000 blockchain contract with IBM
Published: July 06, 2018
The resulting work could lay the groundwork for a new corporate filing system as the state renews its interest in the emerging record-keeping technology.
Delaware has recently signed a contract with IBM through which the company will develop a new corporate filing system based on blockchain technology. The move comes as Delaware is seeking to cement its edge as the leading state for corporate registrations. As an income-tax shelter for businesses, the state is home to more than 1 million corporate entities, including more than 60 percent of Fortune 500 firms, though other states, like Wyoming, are trying to catch up and have signaled their own intentions to experiment with blockchain technology.
Delaware has shown in interest in blockchain technology since 2016, when then-Governor Jack Markell launched an initiative proposing the technology as a platform for storing state records and managing contracts. This effort fell through when the official overseeing the initiative resigned, and the state’s relationship with its first blackchain vendor, Symbiont, collapsed after that. Despite these setbacks, Delaware is again ready to embrace the blockchain craze, with IBM starting by first building a “scale model” for a potential future blockchain initiative.
Delaware is not alone in this field, as several other states are dabbling in blockchain technology. Connecticut recently created a working group to study its possible government applications. The Colorado Legislature passed bill SB 18-086 in May that would require state agencies to at least consider using blockchain for record-keeping purposes. Illinois has also looked into blockchain and drafted a report detailing the potential use cases for the technology. West Virginia recently used a blockchain app to conduct part of its recent primary election in May. At this point, the use of blockchain is not especially widespread among state governments, but these cases show that the interest at least is there, and this situation will be worth monitoring to see if and when state governments do embrace the technology at a stronger level.