By Aaron Hankin
Published: Nov 7, 2018 1:37 pm ET
As Americans went to the polls Tuesday, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology may not have been top of mind.
However, for the hard-core distributed ledger evangelists, governor races in Colorado and California proved to be landmark victories.
In Colorado, progressive Democratic candidate Jared Polis defeated Republican Walker Stapleton by a little more than 6 points in the governor race, replacing John Hickenlooper, who faced a term limit and couldn’t seek re-election.
Colorado governor results
Polis, who also became the first openly gay elected governor, has longed touted blockchain technology as a paramount part of his states economic and voting future. In a campaign policy paper, Polis said he wanted to make Colorado the hub for all things crypto.
“My goal is to establish Colorado as a national hub for blockchain innovation in business and government. I believe strong leadership will put Colorado at the forefront of innovation in this sector—encouraging companies to flock to the state and establishing government applications that save taxpayers money and create value for Colorado residents,” he wrote.
Neeraj Agrawal, director of communications at Coin Center, a blockchain advisory research firm said the election of Polis is a step in the right direction for the industry.
“We are happy to see Mr. Polis’ electoral success and are excited to continue our work with him and the Colorado Blockchain Council to promote sound cryptocurrency policy in the state.”
Meanwhile, in California, fellow crypto enthusiast, Gavin Newsom comfortably won the gubernatorial race over Republican John Cox.
Newsom plugged into the crypto community in 2014 when he began accepting donations in bitcoin. In a May 20, 2014 tweet, the progressive candidate said “Step right up?” to those willing to donate via a virtual currency. At the time, a single bitcoin BTCUSD +1.32% was worth just shy of $500.
Blockchain and elections have a history—at least a conceptual one.
The anonymous, distributed-ledger technology has often garnered the attention of lawmakers who have grappled with election-meddling scandals. In an Op-ed for the New York Times, Alex Tapscott, the co-founder of the Blockchain Institute Research, said it is time to put faith in code, which he think would eliminate human error and external influence, referring to the problems with current voting technology.
“In a blockchain-based system, public trust in the voting process is achieved not by faith in one single institution, but through cryptography, code, and collaboration among citizens, government agencies and other stakeholders,” he wrote.