Vermont does some pretty weird stuff, as we all know, but recently it did something that was both weird and geeky: Studying whether to run its government using the technology behind bitcoin.
The answer was “no,” but not because it was a silly question. National governments as small as Guatemala and as big as Great Britain are asking about it, too. It just didn’t prove useful enough to be worth the cost, at least not yet.
“What blockchain works to do is to establish the authenticity of stuff, not necessarily the validity of the contents. . . . Basically, the benefits of implementing a blockchain for Vermont public records doesn’t cover the cost,” said Oliver Goodenough, director of the Center for Legal Innovation at the Vermont Law School and part of the study group.
I wrote about this project back in September, but Vermont isn’t alone in its curiosity.
Last July, 17 folks with varying backgrounds gathered at the Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods under the auspices of Consumers’ Research to consider potential benefits and drawbacks of using bitcoin and blockchain for finance, government and business.
They hashed out a hefty white paper