Governor Murphy Signs Blockchain Initiative Task Force and Innovation District Bills

Governor Phil Murphy yesterday signed into law legislation (S2297, now P.L.2019,c.213 and A5111, now P.L.2019,.c.214) establishing the New Jersey Blockchain Initiative Task Force and creating the Innovation District Designation Program.

“Growing New Jersey’s innovation economy will take more than just new and smart government policy. It will also require new and smart infrastructure that enables businesses and governments to work with greater speed and efficiency, as well as a collaborative way of thinking that includes government, higher education, and the private sector,” Murphy said. “These two important bills go a long way toward accomplishing those goals.”

The task force will study blockchain technology, including:

  • Opportunities and risks associated with using blockchain and distributed ledger technology;
  • Types of blockchains, both public and private, as well as consensus algorithms;
  • Projects and use cases currently under development in other states and nations, and how those cases could be applied in New Jersey; and
  • How the Legislature can modify current State laws to support secure, paperless recordkeeping.

Within 180 days of its initial meeting, the task force will issue a report, which will include the costs and benefits of government agencies utilizing blockchain technology and recommendations concerning the feasibility of implementation.

The Innovation District Designation Program will be established within the NJ Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology. The purpose of an Innovation District designation is to promote the development or redevelopment of an area in a manner that facilitates collaboration between government, higher education institutions, and private enterprise.