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.

Bithumb Mulls Investing $8.6 Million Into 'Regulation-Free' Blockchain Zone

Leading South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb is reportedly considering investing 10 billion won, around $8.6 million, in Busan city’s “regulation-free” blockchain zone.

According to South Korea’s Ministry of SMEs and Startups, the cryptocurrency would be investing via its GCX Alliance subsidiary, and could use the funds to launch several blockchain-based financial services in the city.

Bithumb and Korea’s Financial Services Commission are set to discuss the move in detail later this month. Busan is South Korea’s second most populous city, and was declared a “regulation-free zone” for blockchain development in August of last year.

Last year local news outlet DongA reported the country’s largest telecoms company, KT, was set to launch a blockchain-based stablecoin tied to the South Korean won in Busan to revitalize its economy. Its report read:

“Dongbaekjeon is a blockchain-based card-type local currency issued by Busan City to revitalize Busan's local economy and ease the management burden of small business.”

Bithumb is reportedly unsure about what business to pursue in Busan, but hopes it’ll be “a versatile and extensive project.” The move comes shortly after Korea’s National Tax Service hit Bithumb with a massive tax bill of 80.3 billion won, equivalent to $69.5 million.

The National Tax Service, according to reports, concluded bithumb failed to withhold the taxes of its foreign customers’ income, an obligation the exchange had. Bithumb was at the time planning to take legal action as it’s not proper for the NTS to “impose the withholding tax on the company as it pays the corporate tax and local income tax for its operating profit every year.”

Featured image via Pixabay.