CHEYENNE – A jury of local and international leaders in blockchain technology has discussed how the emerging industry can help Wyoming on Thursday.
"The way we work: Blockchain" was hosted at the Laramie County Library in collaboration with the Wyoming State Library to help educate the community about blockchain and cryptocurrency issues as they relate to the recent state legislative push.
The speakers discussed for the first time how the hyper-secure digital register is currently influencing the Wyoming breeders.
Philip Schlump, chief technology officer at BeefChain.io, said it has the potential to eliminate food detection fraud in the state. The company uses the blockchain to track livestock using a small radiofrequency identification system. This allows all parties involved in an agricultural transaction – including consumers – to guarantee the origin of the product.
"In this whole process it is really important to maintain security, which is inherently provided by the blockchain and guaranteed by its mathematical nature," he said.
"You can not go back and change records, and you can not falsify information."
Philip Treick, with the College of Business of the University of Wyoming, said that technology is widely used to boost productivity and security in the business world. An example is Walmart's decision to require all its suppliers of green leafy vegetables to use blockchain after an E. coli outbreak in Romaine lettuce made more than 200 people sick in April.
On Thursday, the Arizona-based meat producer JBS Tolleson Inc. recalled over 6.5 million pounds of raw meat products for possible salmonella contamination, which the speakers said could have been avoided using the blockchain.
Dave Murry, an international consultant and Cheyenne native who now lives in Europe, said that despite the practical applications of the blockchain are still developing, industry should not slow down.
"We do not know where he's going, but he's doing great," he said.
Jared Olsen, R-Cheyenne, has been co-sponsoring a number of major invoices this year; he said that the urgency of diversifying Wyoming's economy and diminishing its dependence on minerals was its main motivation for doing so.
"When we entered the session two years ago, we faced a double deficit in Wyoming: one in our general budget and one in our budget for the education foundation," he said. "A huge amount of money was needed, which means both new generators and budgeting – almost 60 percent of our total budget for the Education Foundation depends on the minerals and even most of our budget general depends on this. "
During the 2018 legislature, Wyoming freely legalized the cryptocurrency and exempted it from property taxes. Companies can now use blockchain technology to archive corporate records.
After the presentation, the participants said they had a better understanding of the technology and hoped it would provide new economic opportunities for the state.
"I have learned a lot, and I hope they continue to host this kind of events so that many of us working in the non-technological sector can follow new laws and understand them well enough to know how they are really influencing Wyoming," said Barbara Wilson. He said.