Some Nevada governments use the blockchain for public records


Some counties in northern Nevada use the blockchain, the best-known online registry to help secure virtual currencies like bitcoins, to store digital versions of government documents such as birth and marriage certificates.

The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that in December in Washoe County, some 950 couples had received secure digital marriage certificates for computers and home smartphones since the program premiered in April 2018.

The newspaper found that Elko County is testing similar technology for certified digital birth certificates.

Phil Dhingra, headquartered in San Francisco, Titan Seal, said Washoe County digital marriage certificate program uses the Ethereum blockchain because it has computational power that makes hacking difficult.

He said he believes that the number of digital certificates in the United States could at least correspond to billions of paper documents that get a certificate or an embossed seal of some kind.

Dingra said that people say they are happy that instead of having to wait seven to ten working days, a digital marriage certificate can be sent by e-mail to them in less than 24 hours.

"Licenses and marriage certificates are separate documents.

Washoe County employee Nancy Parent has stated that marriage licenses must be obtained in person at the county chancellery office and are not available online.

The certificates are proof of marriage and are available via blockchain technology through the Washoe County recorder office.

Because many people come from other states to get married in Reno, many certificates are delivered to people outside of Nevada, said Huge Halcomb, Washoe County Systems Engineer.

"But some people say," Nah, I do not use e-mail so I do not want it ", said Halcomb.

He said that unlike a paper document that can be used only once, a digital copy can be used as often as the owner wants, provided it is used in a secure digital form. It can not simply be printed and used as a normal paper certificate.

Halcomb said that while institutions like the Social Security Administration are good at accepting digital certificates, agencies such as state motor vehicle departments may vary with acceptance.

Despite the challenges, Washoe County is pursuing other applications for digitizing paper documents. A project the county is considering using blockchain technology for a potential disaster recovery digital record system.

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