Ripple executive joins California’s Government Operations Agency: Blockchain Working Group

by | Oct 6, 2019

The Government Operations Agency (CalGovOps) is the California government agency responsible for administering state operations including procurement, real estate, information technology, and human resources. The mission of GovOps is to improve management and accountability of government programs, increase efficiency, and promote better and more coordinated operational decisions.

In 2018, California took its first step into the use and regulation of blockchain technology for itself, its businesses and residents. AB 2658 (Calderon, Chapter 875, Statutes of 2018, G.C. 11546.9) requires that the Secretary of the Government Operations Agency appoint a blockchain technology working group and chairperson by July 1, 2019.

The group was announced on August 2nd and one of the members of this group is Liz Chien, Ripple’s VP of Global Tax and Chief Tax Counsel.

Liz Chien

Camille Crittenden, Executive Director of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society and the Banatao Institute, was chosen to serve as Chair of the newly formed blockchain working group.

This group is charged with:

Evaluating blockchain uses, risks, benefits, legal implications, and best practices; Defining the term blockchain; and Recommending amendments to other statutes that may be impacted by blockchain.

The 20-person workgroup is required to represent multiple disciplines. Experts in technology, business, government, law, public and private information security, are key to conducting a comprehensive evaluation. In addition to taking input from a wide range of stakeholders, the workgroup itself shall reflect the following:

  • Three appointees from the technology industry;
  • Three appointees from the non technology-related industry;
  • Three appointees with a background in law chosen in consultation with the Judicial Council;
  • Two appointees from privacy organizations;
  • Two appointees from consumer organizations;
  • The State Chief Information Officer;
  • The Director of Finance;
  • The chief information officers of three other state agencies;
  • One member of the Senate; and
  • One member of the Assembly.

Representing multiple disciplines, the 20-person working group includes experts in technology, business, law, privacy and consumer organizations, state government and members of the legislature. In addition to the working group, a broad range of stakeholders with a diverse range of interests affected by state policies will be consulted to provide input on recommendations.

The workgroup is required to issue a report by July 1, 2020 to the Legislature with policy recommendations. The recommendations must include the potential uses, risks, and benefits to state government and California-based businesses as well as amendments to existing law that may be impacted by the deployment of blockchain.
AB 2658 sunsets on January 1, 2022.