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Blockchain for the Public Good
PANELISTS: (See Bios Below)
1. Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director, Hyperledger
2. Ben Bartlett, Partner, Tackett Bartlett LLP
3. Michele Benedetto Neitz, Professor of Law, Golden Gate University School of Law

MODERATOR: Camille Crittenden, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of CITRIS and the Banatao Institute, and co-founder of the CITRIS Policy Lab and the Women in Tech Initiative at UC. She also chaired the California Blockchain Working Group.

ABSTRACT: Blockchain technology has gained notoriety over the past decade as a platform for cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, which has been used for illicit exchange of weapons and drugs, as well as paying off hackers whose ransomware holds computer systems hostage. At the same time, researchers and developers have been exploring the use of blockchain and the broader domain of distributed ledger technology for more beneficial applications, such as in healthcare, education, property title, and public finance.

California lawmakers commissioned a task force in 2019 to study the potential of blockchain for public sector applications by creating the Blockchain Working Group. The 20-member group, including those speaking today, comprised experts in computer science, cybersecurity, information technology, law, and policy. We were charged with drafting a working definition of blockchain, providing advice to State offices and agencies considering blockchain platforms, and offering guidance to policymakers to foster an open and equitable regulatory environment for the technology in California.

This talk will draw on the panelists' expertise in the fundamental computer science and security concerns of blockchain, its applications for public finance, and ethical considerations of its development. We will also discuss the experience of working with a broad group of stakeholders to create a roadmap for policymakers, CIOs and other leaders considering blockchain solutions for public sector applications.

Oct 28, 2020 12:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Brian Behlendorf
Executive Director @Hyperledger
Brian Behlendorf is Executive Director of Hyperledger, an open-source collaborative software development initiative hosted by the Linux Foundation. Brian has a long career in open technology and its application to society, from co-founding the Apache Web Server project in 1995 to working in the US White House in 2009 and 2010, to serving as CTO for the World Economic Forum 2011-2012 and co-founding a string of companies in the 90's and 2000's. Brian is on the Boards of Directors at the Mozilla Foundation and Electronic Frontier Foundation, and is an advisor to ID2020.
Ben Bartlett
Partner @Tackett Bartlett LLP
Ben Bartlett lives in the nexus of government, law, and technology. Ben is a member of the Berkeley City Council California and partner at Tackett Bartlett LLP. Ben is working to integrate government and Blockchain through regulatory transformation and private enterprise.
Michele Benedetto Neitz
Professor of Law @Golden Gate University School of Law
Michele Benedetto Neitz is a Professor of Law at Golden Gate University School of Law, where she teaches Blockchain and the Law, Legal Ethics, Business Associations, and other classes. She has been voted “Most Outstanding Professor” by the graduating class of GGU Law five times, most recently by the Class of 2020. She was appointed to advise the California legislature as a member of the California Blockchain Working Group in 2019. Professor Neitz researches and writes at the intersection of ethics and technology, and published the first law review article examining ethics in blockchain technology in January 2020. She recently published at the FinReg Blog with an article entitled Ethical Considerations of Blockchain: Do We Need a Blockchain Code of Conduct?