Ron Kim says government must measure impact of program funding using blockchain and is sponsoring a sandbox bill to support blockchain and fintech innovation in New York, repealing the unpopular BitLicense
New York Assemblyman Ron Kim has called for a bill requiring the government to measure the impact of its funding programs using blockchain technology. Assemblyman Kim is the sponsor of a bill to create a sandbox for fintech and blockchain innovation that would enable ‘innovation for good’ firms to launch in a safe way without the onerous requirements under BitLicense.
One of the reasons Assemblyman Kim is calling for the change in government strategy is because he believes the BitLicense that was introduced by the New York State Department of Financial Services is failing to support important projects, and driving business and innovation outside of the state. Since the launch of BitLicense in August 2015, only four companies have received it. As a result of the BitLicense requirement, major blockchain companies such as Shapeshift and Kraken have stopped doing business in New York. The threat to smaller startups in the space is even greater, including ixo, a non-profit open-source software development project, that is building a blockchain protocol for social impact measurement and sustainable development data.
“Blockchain technology will bring new levels of transparency to all manner of industries, including government accountability. As responsible custodians of our citizens’ taxes, we should be using the technology to rebuild the trust that has been lost between citizens and government by showing that the government is investing citizen dollars in programs that have real impact in their communities. As an example, ixo is developing the technology and tools to measure and verify social impacts, which enable projects to tie funding and investments to verified social outcomes and improve program interventions based on evidence. ixo has been piloting this with pre-school attendance records and government subsidies in South Africa. We should have the same transparency in New York. In order to stay competitive, New York needs to welcome innovative projects like ixo that are demonstrating the transformative social value of blockchain,” said Assemblyman Kim.
Assemblyman Kim’s call comes as the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies converge on New York, mainly to discuss the implications that these technology waves are having on the world of finance. While the finance industry is important to the state of New York, Assembly Kim wants the government to focus its efforts on supporting ‘innovation for good’ projects that can benefit individuals both in the state and across the world.
The ixo blockchain protocol enables all measurable changes that have a social or sustainable impact to be transformed into verified data with a cryptographic proof of impact, so philanthropists and impact investors can monitor how their funds are spent and evaluate whether program interventions are effective in achieving social or sustainability outcomes. Verified impact data is tokenized as digital assets called Impact Tokens that projects can trade or exchange through decentralized marketplaces, providing more liquidity and capital for the impact economy.
“We’re pleased to see that Assemblyman Kim is highlighting an important issue at the heart of the blockchain debate at the moment. While many people are focused on the short-term financial gains trading cryptocurrencies, public servants like Assemblyman Kim are focusing on the beneficial impact that the technology can have on the citizens they represent. We believe that when technology is used to create new paradigms in our economic relationships, such as how we value social outcomes or our ability to own and monetize our data, we achieve outsized financial and social returns, while building a more sustainable and equitable economy. We welcome Assemblyman Kim’s support and will continue to support his efforts to repeal BitLicense, so that projects like ixo can bring new impact investing assets like Impact Tokens to market,” said Fennie Wang, Cofounder and Partnerships and Regulatory Lead for ixo.