An Update from Wyoming

Hi everyone—a professional update. I’ve resigned from the Wyoming Blockchain Task Force, choosing to end nearly two years of volunteer work as I consider starting a proper job again. My resignation is mostly a formality, since the Blockchain Task Force actually concluded its work in September and it won’t be renewed (it’s actually “growing up” into something better–a committee that can originate its own legislation, as explained below). Most likely I’ll go back to working in the blockchain industry–but thank you to whoever nominated me to be President of the University of Wyoming. Wow, what an honor just to be mentioned for that!

Reflecting on what the Blockchain Task Force accomplished during its tenure, I think a software analogy is apt: Wyoming released a comprehensive, open-source operating system (i.e., the legal framework including 13 enabling laws + 8 more bills proposed for 2020), on top of which users are able to build applications (i.e., blockchain businesses). But Wyoming is far from finished, as future upgrades and new versions are still on the planned roadmap.

Despite the Wyoming Blockchain Task Force officially moving into the history books (just as other states are starting to launch their blockchain task forces!), the Wyoming legislature will almost certainly replace it with something better: a select committee of the legislature. A select committee can be even more responsive to the blockchain industry’s future needs and challenges because it will be able to sponsor legislation directly, while the Task Force could only propose legislation and had to scramble to find sponsors–which was a time-consuming extra step in the process that introduced risks. There’s another difference between a select committee and a task force—only legislators can vote on select committees, but private citizens cannot. So, the private citizens (like me) who served on the Wyoming Blockchain Task Force would not be allowed a voting role on a select committee. Nonetheless, I’d bet each of the private citizens who served on the Task Force (Will Cole, Matt Kaufman, David Pope and me) will continue to help both Wyoming and the industry when we can.

Before finishing its work in September, the Wyoming Blockchain Task Force proposed eight new bills for the 2020 legislative session, and committees have now agreed to sponsor all eight of them. This means they have a pretty strong chance of becoming law during the upcoming 2020 legislative session.

I’m going offline for a while to make some decisions and will let you know when I come back up for air. It was a tremendous honor to serve my beloved home state on the Task Force. Thanks for your support everyone, and #CowboyOn!

About Caitlin Long

Bitcoin/blockchain, ex-Wyoming Blockchain Task Force, 22-year Wall Street veteran