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Nevada County Uses Blockchain for Public Records

Distributed Summary:

  • One Nevada county began recording marriages on Ethereum last year while another has been recording births on a blockchain
  • One county employee noted the high number of marriages taking place there, making blockchain technology an attractive solution
  • Paper records are still available for less tech-savvy citizens

Several counties in Nevada have begun using Ethereum to maintain a ledger of their public records, including marriages and births.

As the Reno Gazette Journal reported, Washoe County had been using this method “for the better part of 2018.” Washoe County is home to Reno, Nevada, which has been known for loose policies on divorce, relative to the rest of the nation.

A department systems technician for the county, quoted in the Gazette Journal, noted that Reno “has seen a lot of people come to get married here, so we send a high number of certificates out of state.”

It seems that Reno’s reputation as a destination for both marriages and divorces has led the community to update its public recordkeeping and implement blockchain technology. By acting as a database that uses a distributed network of computers to store and share data, with no central authority controlling this data, blockchains like Ethereum can offer more efficiency, transparency and accessibility than traditional databases.

Local citizens have reportedly been pleased with the effort, citing the convenience that the technology provides compared with paper ledgers. And for those who may be less technically savvy, paper records are still available.

And another nearby county in Nevada, Elko, has apparently followed suit: it now uses a blockchain in the same manner. Instead of marriages, however, this county is experimenting with birth records.

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