Polis drops blockchain policy into governor's race


Democratic nominee Jared Polis, a tech millionaire, just dropped a blockchain technology policy into the Colorado governor’s race, while also inviting those who are into cryptocurrency to use it to donate his campaign.

Less technologically savvy Coloradans might get a headache, but Polis is betting on the future.

Blockchain is the ledger and trading place for cryptocurrencies — encrypted digital money that’s not tethered to fixed institution, like a bank or a nation — that Polis and other political and business leaders think might soon drive global economic growth, while improving state government security and transparency and accessibility.

> READ: Polis’ blockchain policy

He was the founder of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus and hosted a Bitcoin Demo Day at the U.S. Capitol to bring in experts to talk to members of Congress about decentralizing currency online.

“Coloradans have a forward-looking vision, and blockchain has the potential to revolutionize our future,” Polis said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “As governor, I plan to take the necessary steps to help Colorado be the nation’s leader in blockchain innovation and jobs, and grow Colorado’s economy while saving taxpayers money.

“It’s still the early days in the evolution of blockchain, but we should take the opportunity to get out ahead. I’m thrilled to be working with blockchain leaders to put forward this bold, innovative vision that will make Colorado the best place in the country to start or grow a blockchain company.”

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office has said virtual currency is acceptable for campaign contributions for the first time this year. Colorado Politics’ Marianne Goodland wrote about the proposal in May.

The science and technology website Gizmodo scooped up the Polis story Thursday, saying Polis plans to put Colorado “on the blockchain.”

Polis’ policy is new, but the idea isn’t completely novel. The policy expands on Gov. John Hickenlooper’s Council for the Advancement of Blockchain Technology Use to examine the possible uses of blockchain.

This is solid ground for Polis, a self-made millionaire who capitalized on the emerging internet technology boom, first generating massive traffic by giving away online greeting cards — a pen-and-ink venture first started by his parents — then turning that into a revolutionary floral business, ProFlowers.com, that let buyers connect more directly with growers to cut out the middlemen.

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