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On Wednesday, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill declaring that the Pacific Northwestern state will study the benefits of blockchain technology in key industries.

In particular, the Senate Bill 5544 will see multiple stakeholders across the blockchain industry examining use cases across the banking and finance sectors. Other areas of interest include real estate, healthcare, higher education, computing, and governmental record-keeping.

In February, the bill was approved by the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee, passed by the Rules Committee and greenlit by the state Senate floor. The bill was sponsored by ten senators: Sen. Sharon Brown, Sen. Perry Dozier, Sen. David Frockt, Sen. Robert Hasegawa, and Sen. Mark Mullet.

The bill will “help attract and support employees and new businesses with a supportive ecosystem.” Led by Senator Sharon Brown, the bill will establish the Washington State Blockchain Work Group, which will host its first meeting later this December and submit the detailed findings of its study by December 1, 2023.

"Every day, companies are adopting blockchain technology to improve delivery of services," said Sharon Brown. "This new law is a vital first-step in creating an environment that is welcoming of new business prospects, eager to seek out new applications, and willing to identify potential supply-chain management and STEM-education opportunities. I am pleased to see this legislation signed into law. By creating the Washington Blockchain Work Group we are sending a clear message that Washington is ready to start working with the private sector to advance this technology for the benefit of all Washington residents, employers and workers." 

"As a collective voice for the technology community in Washington state, we have seen first hand the power of bringing together the private and public sectors to solve problems and use technology to encourage progress," added Michael Schutzler, CEO of the Washington Technology Industry Association. "I'm confident the work group will encourage further collaboration across the industry, laying the groundwork to attract future investment and jobs in the state of Washington."