Before Arizona could be recognized as a leader in blockchain technology legislation there was one major challenge helping lawmakers get your head around exactly what the technology is.
It was very difficult, you know, trying to explain to people, said Arizona State Rep. Jeff Weninger, R-Chandler. You never want to vote for something that you dont fully understand and this is, to say the least, a tough thing to get your head around.
Weninger sponsored a bill that makes Arizona one of a handful of states to accept electronic signatures on contracts, a law that is made possible through the use of blockchain.
Blockchain is best known as the technology behind bitcoin, the system that lets people use digital currency in place of standard government-issued money. The technology was created in 2009 as a decentralized, replicated, peer-to-peer review network to serve as a public ledger for bitcoin but quickly found other uses in online data verification and the transfer of value.
Weninger called his bill a little stab at getting acceptance and understanding of the new and often misunderstood technology that backers say could ultimately lead to more-secure voting, money handling, identification and more.
Lawmakers have called the new technology bulletproof, saying that it adds a level of trust in the management of records and identity management, among other applications.
One such application is the electronic signature law passed by Arizona. Using blockchain, an encoded, or smart, contract allows the technology to act as a witness to an agreement, validating, overseeing and imposing terms of the contract with no need of a middleman or third-party organization.
In March, Gov. Doug Ducey signed Weningers bill, HB 2417, to recognize signatures and smart contracts secured though blockchain as valid forms of contracts.
Ducey said the smart-contract bill shows Arizona to be a state thats really leading the way in embracing and recognizing these new technologies, said Patrick Ptak, a spokesman for the governor.
Blockchain technology is new and emerging, Ptak said. It kind of started out as an application for Bitcoin but now industries across the spectrum are seeing new applications for it from finance to healthcare to law and its something that we think has a lot of potential. I think that were just barely tapping its potential uses and applications.
Blockchain works by recording transactions whether they be digital currencies, smart contracts or something like an electronic vote as blocks of data, with each updated added to the others chronologically hence a blockchain.
This encryption algorithm of blockchain has been called un-hackable due to the nature in which it distributes information to multiple parties creating a shared database. Because blockchain is decentralized, there is no one central computer that can be hacked. If one computer were to be hacked, every other computer running that database would cry foul.
What makes blockchain appealing is that it allows a standard for trust for online transactions, or a starting point for untrusted parties to carry out transactions without a normal intermediary such as a bank.
In Arizona, lawmakers are looking forward to numerous possibilities that a future with this technology could provide.
It (blockchain) adds a level of trust for a citizen to know that their data is being properly managed, but also having access to knowing who and for what purposes their data is being looked at, said Tommy Leander, a legislative assistant for Rep. David Schweikert, R- Fountain Hills.
Schweikert in February helped launch the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, saying it is critical for members of Congress to begin comprehending both their current applications and future use cases. Weninger also credits Schweikert with inspiring the smart contract bill.
Weninger, who said he shared YouTube videos of TED Talks with fellow lawmakers in an effort to help them understand blockchain, said that despite the confusion his colleagues were eager to be at the forefront of this technology.
Democrats and Republicans like being at the tip of the spear of new technologies and new ways of doing things, he said.
Weninger added that besides business applications, he hopes to see more government applications of blockchain in the future.
I think the technology will get better, I think the proof of concept will get better and here in Arizona well keep expanding, he said
As one of a half-dozen states to embrace blockchain legislation, Arizona hopes to see new companies come to the state, Ptak says.
Arizona, in general, has been a national leader in being the first to recognize and embrace these technologies and youre seeing the result in that a lot of tech companies are now coming to Arizona and coming to the Phoenix area, Ptak said.
Cronkite News reporter Joe Gilmore contributed to this report.
- Technology Will Not Save Us - The New York Times - May 2nd, 2020
- Amid a new technology normal, gaps and gratitude for the devices that sustain us - Citizen Times - May 2nd, 2020
- COVID-19 and Technology: Commonly Used Terms - EFF - May 2nd, 2020
- Salon turns to dry fog technology to kill coronavirus ahead of reopening - FOX 31 Denver - May 2nd, 2020
- A brief history of video and technology in baseball, and how it helped teams steal signs - The Boston Globe - May 2nd, 2020
- How South Korea has used tech to successfully contain COVID-19 - Business Insider - Business Insider - May 2nd, 2020
- AI proven to be invaluable technology during pandemic - Khaleej Times - May 2nd, 2020
- The Use Of Technology And Future Of Work Has Changed Because Of COVID-19 - caribbeannationalweekly.com - May 2nd, 2020
- COVID-19 Impact on the Airport Operations Market by Technology and Region - Global Forecast to 2025 - ResearchAndMarkets.com - Yahoo Finance - May 2nd, 2020
- Apple must expand its COVID tracing technology into large scale testing - AppleInsider - May 2nd, 2020
- A 'pandemic drone' and other technology could help limit the spread of coronavirus and ease restrictions sooner, but at what cost? - ABC News - May 2nd, 2020
- Highlights from Hegeman: Getting rural Missouri the technology it needs - The Maryville Forum - May 2nd, 2020
- 15-year-olds life mission preserved through foundation providing technology to children in need - NJ.com - May 2nd, 2020
- The US already has the technology to test millions of people a day - MIT Technology Review - May 2nd, 2020
- Electric Car BYD Han To Have More Range With New Battery Technology - Fossbytes - May 2nd, 2020
- The neuroscience of loneliness and how technology is helping us - The Next Web - May 2nd, 2020
- Stimulus checks and other coronavirus relief hindered by dated technology and rocky government rollout - SF Gate - April 23rd, 2020
- Australias Fire Season Ends, and Researchers Look to the Next One - The New York Times - April 23rd, 2020
- US lawmaker says any COVID-19 contact tracing technology should be voluntary and limited - Gadgets Now - April 23rd, 2020
- Summerside convention brings new technology to the field - The Guardian - April 23rd, 2020
- 'Alexa turn on the lights;' how to add smart technology to your home - SW News Media - April 18th, 2020
- How Las Cruces Public Schools is providing technology to 1 in 5 students who need it - KVIA El Paso - April 18th, 2020
- China's strategy to reorient US tech companies is exposed what next? | TheHill - The Hill - April 18th, 2020
- How China used technology to combat COVID-19 and tighten its grip on citizens - Amnesty International - April 18th, 2020
- The importance of technology in banking during a crisis | VOX, CEPR Policy Portal - voxeu.org - April 18th, 2020
- Lux Communities leaning on technology amidst coronavirus pandemic - INFORUM - April 18th, 2020
- Is COVID-19 the push businesses need to fast-track technology adoption? - ZDNet - April 18th, 2020
- Doctor calls technology 'instrumental' in tracking the spread of COVID-19 - WBAY - April 18th, 2020
- The neuroscience of loneliness and how technology is helping us - The Conversation UK - April 18th, 2020
- Gov. Evers Signs Bill Expanding Access to Standing Technology - WEAU - April 18th, 2020
- QQQX: Technology And 'High Yield' To Beat The Markets After We Beat COVID-19 - Seeking Alpha - April 18th, 2020
- I Think It Could Be A Game Changer | Frederick Company Develops Technology To Disinfect N95 Masks - CBS Baltimore - April 18th, 2020
- Mayor of London backed tech start-up used to make 'deep fakes' - Telegraph.co.uk - April 18th, 2020
- The expansion of mass surveillance to stop coronavirus should worry us all - The Guardian - April 18th, 2020
- While We've Been in Lockdown, Solar Cell Technology Has Smashed Three Big Records - ScienceAlert - April 18th, 2020
- How new technology in Data Science is impacting the life of Data Scientists - YourStory - April 18th, 2020
- Four technologies Japan and the US should team on to counter China - C4ISRNet - April 18th, 2020
- Activist investor Starboard, which has track record of big returns in tech, finds its next target - CNBC - April 18th, 2020
- Sheriff Robert L. Langley, Jr. Reports License Plate Reader Technology Crucial to Discovery of Two Vehicles Reported Stolen - HamletHub - April 18th, 2020
- Coronavirus Contact Tracing: Apple and Google Team Up to Enable Virus Tracking - The New York Times - April 18th, 2020
- 'We are all interconnected': Coronavirus is reshaping our relationship with technology - Sydney Morning Herald - April 18th, 2020
- Nation-building through engineering and technology education - The Star Online - April 18th, 2020
- How you and your technology can help fight Covid-19 - The Irish Times - April 18th, 2020
- InteliCare seeks to bring its AI-based aged care monitoring technology to the ASX - Small Caps - April 18th, 2020
- Artificial Intelligence and the environmental crisis: 'Can technology really save the world?', asks Tayside expert - The Courier - April 18th, 2020
- More than 20,000 computers loaned to students to learn from home - Business in Vancouver - April 18th, 2020
- Have we allowed technology to become another family member? - Daily Monitor - April 18th, 2020
- Technology - Wikipedia - April 11th, 2020
- Tech 24 - Hacking the Covid-19 crisis: The role of technology - FRANCE 24 - April 11th, 2020
- National Geographic's Technology Comes to TC Williams - The Zebra - April 11th, 2020
- Religious leaders are using technology to connect with congregations during Holy Week - Long Beach Post - April 11th, 2020
- How a 5G Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory Fueled Arson and Harassment in Britain - The New York Times - April 11th, 2020
- Using technology to celebrate the holiday | Pandemic 2020 - Barre Montpelier Times Argus - April 11th, 2020
- The technology Utah is using to track the coronavirus - ABC 4 - April 11th, 2020
- Technology-Enabled Mission Command: Keeping up with the (John Paul) Joneses - War on the Rocks - April 11th, 2020
- Realtors Use Technology To Connect With Clients Amid COVID-19 - KVRR - April 11th, 2020
- David Basulto Discusses Archdaily, Technology and Design Thinking in Inspiring Design Podcast - ArchDaily - April 11th, 2020
- Specialization, technology and culture erode traditions, discourage participation - The Herald Bulletin - April 11th, 2020
- Coronavirus: How technology and apps could allow the UK to leave lockdown but impose new restrictions of their own - The Independent - April 11th, 2020
- Coronavirus could finally unleash innovative promise of 21st century technology - Washington Examiner - April 11th, 2020
- Rabbis allowing Zoom, technology on Passover during quarantine - MyNorthwest.com - April 11th, 2020
- Mixed Reality Technologies To Reshape The Workplace Of The Next Decade - Forbes - April 11th, 2020
- How Technology Has Already Begun Using Your Biometric Data - And Why it's Trustworthy - Analytics Insight - April 11th, 2020
- Rhode Island's 1950s Technology is Slowing Processing and Payment of Unemployment Claims - GoLocalProv - April 11th, 2020
- Department of Energy Announces $38 Million to Support Hydrokinetic Turbine Technology Development - Energy.gov - April 11th, 2020
- Harvard University Information Technology helps shift to online - Harvard Gazette - April 11th, 2020
- Global Terminates MOU with World Innovation Technologies Other OTC:PSYC - GlobeNewswire - April 11th, 2020
- Is Progress In Autonomous Technology Gated By Research In Animal Communication? - Forbes - April 11th, 2020
- 'Iron lung' backed by Stephen Hawking's family to be trialled on Covid-19 patients - Telegraph.co.uk - April 11th, 2020
- Etihad to trial technology designed to identify passengers with symptoms of illness - Japan Today - April 11th, 2020
- For NYC students without technology: Whats in supplemental learning packet? - SILive.com - March 28th, 2020
- Reusing N95 masks in coronavirus pandemic possible with this technology - Fox Business - March 28th, 2020
- What COVID-19 tells us about technology and human behaviour - RTE.ie - March 28th, 2020
- 31 Technology Job Positions Hiring During the COVID-19 Crisis - Dice Insights - March 28th, 2020
- New Research and Technology Ministry Consortium to Assist Covid-19 Task Force - Jakarta Globe - March 28th, 2020
- Captains using technology to bond with teammates during pause - NHL.com - March 28th, 2020
- How Alternative Dispute Resolution and Technology Can Keep Your Cases Moving in the Face of Court Closures - JD Supra - March 28th, 2020
- The history of technology is about to change radically. India must seize the moment. - YourStory - March 28th, 2020
- Dell Technologies World 2020 Rescheduled To This Fall - CRN: Technology news for channel partners and solution providers - March 28th, 2020
- Office Movers Now Come Strapped With Tracking Technologies - Bisnow - March 28th, 2020