Nevada County Will Now Allow Marriage Certificates on Blockchain

Derrick Broze

Nevada's WashoeCounty is leading the way for blockchain use in government programs, including marriage certificates saved on a blockchain.

In April 2018, Washoe County issued its first marriage certificate which was stored on a blockchain. The program allows anyone who gets married in the county to view and send a digital version of their marriage certificate from their computer or smartphone. The digital marriage certificate is stored on the Ethereum blockchain.

Washoe County Clerk Nancy Parent stated that the digital marriage certificate is different from a marriage license. "Marriage licenses must be obtained in person at the County Clerk’s office and are not available online," Parent told The Reno Gazette Journal. "Marriage certificates are proof of marriage and are available via blockchain technology through the Washoe County Recorder’s Office.”

Customers using the blockchain marriage certificates no longer have to wait seven to ten business days to receive them. Instead, their certificate arrives via email in less than 24 hours. County officials served around 950 people between April and early December. The county is now considering using blockchain technology for a digital record recovery system in case of a disasterother records. Nearby Elko County has also started a trial phase for using blockchain technology to store digital copies of birth certificates.

Titan Seal, the company behind Wahoe County's digital marriage certificates, told the journal it is "actively looking for a DMV partner in the country to potentially create a digital driver’s license that is certified through blockchain technology".

Resistance to the initiative has come from Washoe residents who don't understand the technology and attempt to print the digital version and use it as a paper certificate. Hunter Halcomb, a department systems technician with Washoe County, also told the journal that around 35 percent of government agencies have rejected the digital certificates. The largest opposition comes from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

“DMVs in border states are our biggest issue because they actually see cases of marriage certificate fraud,” Halcomb said.

The idea of a PDF marriage certificate really disturbs them and we haven’t been able to convince the administrators of any of these DMVs that the (digital certificates) are actually more secure than the paper ones.

The Nevada DMV has not commited to accepting the blockchain-based marriage certificate.

IBM’s VP of Blockchain and Crypto on World Wire, XLM, Ripple, XRP, and BTC Price

On Wednesday (February 20th), during an interview with Australia's largest comparison site Finder.com.au, Jesse Lund, IBM's Vice President of Blockchain and Digital Currencies, talked about his company's cross-border payments solution "IBM Blockchain World Wire"(which runs on the Stellar network), how this product differs from what Ripple is doing with xRapid, and gave his medium term (end of 2019) and long term (some day) price predictions for Bitcoin (BTC).

In this article, we focus on some of Lund's most interesting comments made during this interview.

IBM Blockchain World Wire

"The architecture of World Wire is really a cross-border payment network, the magic of which is the ability to send a payment message instruction saying 'Hey, I'm sending you something; get ready!' and on the other end, the receiver is making sure that who you are sending it yo is not some nefarious actor or bad actor, but once that happens, and that happens really fast, then we send the value along, and that transfer of value is made possible by an ecosystem of digital settlement instruments, of which [Stellar] lumens is one."

"IBM's long game in this is to be the network operator... So, the subscribers, the customers, if you will, of World Wire are market makers who really provide the pay in, pay out locations, and they themselves have corporate clients and probably retail clients. So, we're really providing a kind of conduit through which money can flow in real-time." 

IBM Blockchain World Wire vs. Ripple's xRapid

"Credit Ripple for the vision of using a digital asset in order to enact immediate settlement with finality. I think their implementation followed one path. Our implementation is a little bit different. We are not the issuer of an asset. In fact, what we believe is that there should be an ecosystem of a variety of digital assets that provide the settlement instruments that enable these cross-border payments. The participants on the network should be able to choose and negotiate their choices in real-time and the pricing might be different depending on the settlement instrument you use. So, I think with Ripple, they're looking at XRP as the primary digital asset for settlement, and for us, it could be lumens, it could be Ripple, it could be XRP even, it could be Bitcoin, but it would also probably include other instruments like stablecoins and even eventually, hopefully soon, central bank issued digital currencies."

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Prediction

"[Bitcoin's price at the end of 2019] ... I think it's going be higher [than today], I'll go with $5,000, but let me just say this. I've got a long term outlook... I see Bitcoin at a million dollars some day. And I like that number because if Bitcoin is at a million dollars, then satoshi is on value parity with the U.S. penny, right? And that means there's $23 trillion of liquidity in this network. Think about $23 trillion in liquidity and how that changes things like corporate payments, large payments, and what that does to the financial services landscape."

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