Treasurer Points to Potential for Blockchain & Financial Sector Growth In Near Future
Laramie, Wyoming – Treasurer Mark Gordon applauded Wyoming legislators Thursday for their leadership in implementing legislation to drive Blockchain technology and virtual currencies at the first meeting of the Blockchain Task Force in Laramie Wednesday morning. Wyoming’s State Treasurer noted the uptick in registration for trust companies in the state of Wyoming in recent months as a result of strong state leadership exerted in both the finance and technology sector.
Gordon’s comments at Thursday’s meeting were as follows:
“Thank you so much for giving me this brief opportunity this morning.
First and foremost, I would like to applaud the Wyoming Legislature and the incredible leaders on this task force. Chairman Lindholm, Chairman Driskill, and Representative Olsen are really the reason we are sitting here today. As we all know, they championed and successfully passed a suite of legislation that has opened the doors to drive a new industry here in Wyoming.
Wyoming is now not only positioned to be a national leader in this growing economy, but to really blaze a trail for virtual currencies and Blockchain technology.
I’d also like to thank you the Secretary of State’s office for their leadership in really taking on the implementation and regulation of this technology in a very short time. Deputy Secretary of State Karen Wheeler, in particular, has done a magnificent job over the past several months and I really applaud her work.
I will keep my comments brief, but I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about one particular law, and a piece of this Blockchain technology puzzle, that I think is especially important. House Bill 70 is an important new law in Wyoming that exempts utility tokens from security laws. This is really pioneering legislation as no other state has regulated Initial Coin Offerings (ICO’s) up until now. Wyoming is first in the nation, and it is now driving companies to our state.
This law is especially important because it exercises Wyoming’s right under the 10th Amendment to regulate property. This is federalism at its finest. Regulation of ICO’s is within the purview of individual state’s and Wyoming’s law sets an important precedent for exerting our authority as a state.
I also see enormous opportunity for Wyoming to be ground zero for the development and advancement of utility tokens. Utility tokens have the potential to be another tool to raise capital to bring new technology to the marketplace. Pioneering new secure settlement systems can have benefits for a wide array of sectors, some very important to Wyoming’s legacy industries like agriculture and energy. This is just another way Wyoming can lead the way as we work towards a more integrated energy system.
As Treasurer, let me point out that as with anything new there are going to be growing pains that we can expect from cryptocurrencies that have experienced significant volatility as they have worked to become established. Therefore, our office does not intend to invest in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies until we can be assured that they can be considered a prudent investment. As for Blockchain, however, we are working to keep abreast of developments and look forward to the adoption of this incredible technology in the financial sector.
Chairman Lindholm and Chairman Driskill, members of the Blockchain Task Force, thank you again for your tremendous work on this important issue. I, like the rest of Wyoming, am looking forward to seeing where this takes our state and economy in the very near future. Thank you.”
Mark Gordon is a rancher, small businessman, and Wyoming’s State Treasurer. He grew up on the family ranch in Johnson County. After graduating from college, Mark ran several successful businesses in Buffalo and Sheridan including two focused on outdoor recreation and tourism. He later worked in the oil and gas industry. Mark and his wife, Jennie Muir Gordon, currently work together, with Jennie handling day to day management of their ranch. They have four grown children, daughters Bea and Anne, son Aaron and his wife Megan, and son Spencer and his wife Sarah.
Serving as Wyoming Treasurer since 2012, Gordon has led a transformation of how the state invests its significant funds. He has focused on growing state investment returns, safeguarding state savings and improving transparency and access to the general public. He has demonstrated the ability to do less with more, leading a small staff to make significant and lasting changes to the state’s investment arm. Gordon grew state investments by over $1 billion last year, delivering the fund’s best performance above the state’s benchmark in ten years. As a result, Wyoming citizens saved $1,500 per person in taxes.
Gordon also led efforts to improve transparency surrounding the state’s financial portfolio resulting in Wyoming earning the number one ranking in the United States for transparency among all sovereign funds.