US State of Delaware Rolls Out Blockchain Initiative to Leverage Potential of Smart Contracts

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Governor Jack Markell announced today the establishment of the Delaware Blockchain Initiative, a suite of programs that aims to encourage expanded use and development of distributed ledger and smart contract technologies by Delaware-incorporated businesses.

Blockchain technology enables a network of users to make and verify transactions instantaneously and without centralized intermediaries. The technology uses strong encryption to enable network participants to securely and transparently manipulate a shared digital ledger, thereby expediting processing, cutting costs, and decreasing the potential for fraud.

The State of Delaware is working closely with Symbiont, a pioneer in the use of smart contracts on blockchain technology, to develop the technical aspects of the Initiative. Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, the leading blockchain technology legal team, is developing the legal infrastructure.

“Delaware has long been the jurisdiction of choice for the most innovative companies in the world,” said Governor Markell. “The Delaware Blockchain Initiative demonstrates the state’s commitment to ensuring this remains the case for the growing blockchain technology sector. By creating the opportunity for a broad range of corporations – from Fortune 500 companies to startups – to take advantage of distributed ledger and smart contract applications, we are laying the groundwork for a more modern, secure and transparent business environment for years to come.”

Delaware intends to work closely with its technology and legal ambassadors to ensure smooth implementation of this new suite of programs.

“It is our mission at Symbiont to work with market-leading institutions and we are delighted to work with The State of Delaware,” said Mark Smith, CEO of Symbiont. “Given its leadership position in incorporation services, it’s an ideal proving ground for smart contracts.”

“We are honored to be chosen as Delaware’s legal ambassadors to the Blockchain industry,” said Marco Santori, leader of Pillsbury’s Blockchain Technology focus team. “The Delaware Blockchain initiative presents a tremendous opportunity for our attorneys to apply their deep experience in distributed ledgers to do true social and economic good.”

Governor Markell will unveil the details of this historic initiative at the opening keynote presentation at the Consensus 2016 conference in New York City at 8:25 a.m. on May 2nd.

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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