Brent Martin
Nebraska Radio Network

A state senator pushing legislation to welcome emerging business technology compares it to the birth of the Internet.

Sen. Carol Blood of Bellevue sponsors LB 695 and LB 694, which would define Distributed Ledger Technology and Blockchain, the technological platforms which support crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin as well as so-called smart contracts.

Blood says fear of such technology is similar to the fear people initially had of the Internet.

“And, the Internet was a scary thing,” Blood tells reporters during a news conference. “I mean, I remember the first time I was on the Internet and when you went into a room that you shared information, it was basically a black room on the Internet. And, it was like, are there other people here? What’s going on? And within years that changed to something quite fantastic.”

Blood says Nebraska can be an attractive location for high-tech companies, lured by lower property costs and a well-educated workforce.

“We have everything that entrepreneurs want except for the words in our statute,” according to Blood.

Blood says her legislation would define the technology and prevent it from being taxed or regulated locally.

Embermine CEO James Drake says the tech company which works not far from the Capitol is part of a growing trend which should be welcomed by Nebraska, but the state needs to act.

“Every day that goes by is another opportunity for someone else to define it,” Drake says. “I think it’s time for the state of Nebraska to start defining and controlling our own power our own economic history here, so that we can attract more technology companies to this state.”

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