In Wyoming, New Coalition Pushes Blockchain for Budgeting, Business and More

Coalition members want Wyoming to ease legal and regulatory rules so that blockchain technology and digital currencies can operate in the state.

by Becky Orr, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle / November 28, 2017

(TNS) –– CHEYENNE – A new coalition wants Wyoming residents to learn more about a technology it says could cut costs, help create new businesses in the state and streamline administrative processes.

The Wyoming Blockchain Coalition LLC recently announced its formation and that it supports the adoption of blockchain technology in Wyoming.

Blockchain is a new database technology that allows several parties to share a single “golden copy” of data and trust that it is valid, according to a coalition news release.

“We are also advocates for a legal and regulatory environment that welcomes blockchain technology companies to do business in Wyoming,” said David A. Pope, executive director of the coalition. He and the 24 other coalition members are volunteers.

Pope, who is a certified public accountant in Cheyenne, anticipates blockchain technology will be “as big of a game changer as the Internet was.” He sees many potential uses for the technology in Wyoming, especially in budget and accounting areas.

“It could help develop a completely transparent budget in the state that can be accessed easily by anybody that the state wants to allow,” he said.

Coalition members want the state to ease legal and regulatory rules so that blockchain technology and digital currencies like bitcoin could operate in Wyoming.

The state once allowed bitcoin in Wyoming, until an interpretation of the Wyoming Money Transmitters Act ended its use.

Blockchain technology is crucial in part because it is needed to operate bitcoin, Pope said.

Coalition members include Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr; Patrick Byrne, chief executive officer of Overstock.com; James Caldwell, head of the department of computer science at the University of Wyoming; and Jim Geringer, former governor of Wyoming.

“We want to make Wyoming the best place to do business in the world. And we want to be the best place to develop this new technology,” Pope said.

Wyoming ranks low among states for the level of bitcoin and blockchain development, Pope said.

Caitlin Long is a former Laramie resident and UW and Harvard graduate. She is the founder and president of Symbiont, a leading blockchain technology platform, and is an advisory member to the coalition.

Long became involved in the technology after she learned that Wyoming’s banking laws don’t allow the use of bitcoin.

Wyoming is one of the top states for new business formation because of the limited liability law it passed 30 years ago, Long said, adding that the state could lead the way again by offering blockchain LLCs.

“There is a real opportunity for Wyoming to make a mark by being the first (state) to allow blockchain registration” for limited liability corporations, she said.

Potential applications for blockchain technology include:

  • Giving ranchers and producers the ability to guarantee that their customers would have certified Wyoming products by allowing them to track the products’ Wyoming origin on a blockchain.
  • Reducing Wyoming’s health-care costs by eliminating information duplication with a blockchain.
  • Allowing Wyoming limited liability registrants to register on a blockchain. This could attract new businesses to Wyoming, according to supporters.

©2017 Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, Wyo.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.