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If Blockchain Is The Next Big Thing, NV Just Might Lead The Nation

blockchain.jpg

Andrew Baker/Getty Images/Ikon Images

About five months ago, Nevada enacted a new law that some believe will put this state at the forefront of technological innovation.

The law deals with something called blockchains. 

With the new law, Nevada cannot tax companies that use blockchain technology to encrypt their company data.

Ok. But what is a blockchain?

Ashley Clift-Jennings, a principal with Clift & Co in Reno, helped craft the legislation, which was proposed by State Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno. 

Clift-Jennings said a blockchain works like a digital ledger for all kinds of transactions. But it works to stop illegal or illegitimate transactions because everyone on the blockchain can see it and making changes is nearly impossible.

“So, if one person changes one block in the blockchain it becomes very, very obvious,” she said, “It’s a complex cryptographic hash, they call it that makes it so that you can’t really edit the ledger.”

Governor Brian Sandoval signed it into law in June.

The law forbids the state from doing what other states like New York have done--tax businesses that for simply using blockchain technology.

Clift-Jennings said many lawmakers have had a "kneejerk reaction" to the new technology mostly because of a lack of understanding. She said accepting the new technology will help Nevada.

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“So, just companies being able to come in to a state that is acknowledging that they understand that the blockchain exists and that they understand the importance of allowing the efficiencies of the innovation to happen and not squelch that while at the same time protecting consumers is just a really advantageous position to be in for a state," she said.

State Sen. Kieckhefer said he's already talked to young, energetic entrepreneurs interested in moving to Nevada because they see the state as having a higher technological IQ than many other states.

“What I think we’re hoping to see is the innovators start here and locate here and look to Nevada as friendly ground and I think that is what we’re seeing,” he said.

He added that he soon expects some announcements of businesses coming here because of the new law.

(Editor's Note: This interview originally aired November 2017)

From NPR: Blockchains Look To Change How To Do Business Online

Guests

State Senator Ben Kieckhefer, R-Dist. 16; Ashley Clift-Jennings, principal, Clift & Co

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