In the aptly named Nashville Ledger, Jeannie Naujeck takes a look at the blockchain community that is building in Nashville. It is a timely look as the city breaks into the Top 20 US Cities For Blockchain Jobs.
Blockchain tech ‘is the shiny new penny’
Friday, May 18, 2018, Vol. 42, No. 20
By Jeannie Naujeck | Correspondent
But tucked among the headline-grabbers was a brief bill, less than 300 words long, that attracted no controversy whatsoever.
Not only did it pass both houses with bipartisan support, it passed with unanimous support – despite being concerned with an esoteric technology that some legislators had never heard of.
The bill that united legislators this session was an official recognition of blockchain, an emerging technology that could transform the operations of any business that depends on secure, transparent, efficient transactions – including some of Tennessee’s most important industries.
What likely sold legislators, even if they didn’t quite understand the technology, was its potential to attract new business to the state.
“Any state worth its salt wants to compete for business,” says Joan MacLeod Heminway, a corporate and securities lawyer and professor of law at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
“Blockchain technology is the shiny new penny, and everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon, because if you don’t you might get left behind. Tennessee is a very entrepreneurial state, and we like to make sure that if entrepreneurs think they need something we give it to them.”
Many people know blockchain as the technology that powers cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, which hit the news with its huge run-up in value last year, making digital millionaires of those who got in on the ground floor. But the technology has far greater implications for the Tennessee economy.
“Blockchain is a new and exciting industry with almost unlimited potential in different applications,” explains Rep. Jason Powell, a Democrat who sponsored the House bill. Steve Dickerson, a Republican, sponsored it in the Senate.
“I think there is tremendous upside, and it’s great that Tennessee has planted a flag to say that we are open for business when it comes to blockchain, and hopefully, can continue to foster either businesses starting up or moving here that are in that space.”