Recent New York Legislation Demonstrates Growing Governmental Interest in the Use of Blockchain for Cybersecurity

Recent legislation in the New York State Assembly reflects a growing governmental interest in blockchain as a technology in cybersecurity systems. On November 27, four different bills addressing blockchain technologies were introduced into the New York State Assembly. Most significant among these is Assembly Bill 8793, which would establish a task force to study and report on the potential implementation of blockchain technology in state record keeping, information storage, and service delivery. This bill would also direct the task force to study “opportunities and risks associated with using blockchain technology in state record keeping, information storage, and service delivery, [analyze] different types of blockchain technology, [explore] the feasibility of implementing each type, and [make] recommendations regarding the use of blockchain technology, along with legislative and regulatory proposals.” This bill was referred to the Assembly Government Operations Committee for review.

Assembly Bill 8780 would allow government records and contracts to be secured through blockchain technology; Assembly Bill 8792 relates to studying the use of blockchain technology in protecting voter records and election results; and Assembly Bill 8783 would create a digital currency task force to provide information on the potential effects of the widespread implementation of digital currencies on financial markets in the state. It will be interesting to see whether or any of the four bills actually make it into law.