House and digital currency

‘Green Coin’: Rhode Island lawmakers introduce housing bill leveraging blockchain tech

Rhode Island lawmakers propose a blockchain-backed housing bill that will issue a digital currency to incentivize sustainable housing in the state. 

Rhode Island is looking to blockchain technology to help it solve the lingering housing shortage and climate crisis problems. Legislators in the state have proposed a housing bill that will incentivize reduced home carbon emissions using a state-issued digital currency—the “Green coin.” 

Called the Green Housing Public-private Partnership Act, the bill is focused on funding housing projects that meet the state’s sustainability standards. 

Green coins will help Rhode Island fund new sustainable housing projects

Rep. Carlos Tobon, who introduced the bill with nine other bipartisan lawmakers, said that the state has a housing shortage of 25,000 units at present. This is getting more exaggerated as the state has been seeing an influx of more people since 2020. 

Tobon noted that while several alternative ways of making the housing sector sustainable, decentralization of utilities in the sector offered the best prospects. With the bill, homeowners will be given a Green coin when they help reduce carbon emissions, for instance, by adopting solar and geothermal energy sources for their homes. 

“That will essentially decentralize the property’s utilities, like the blockchain and crypto have done to finance. That means that we’re empowering individuals to have more control and, while they’re still going to be tied to the grid, the grid will be secondary,” Tobon said.

The bill also introduces an economic aspect of the carbon offset reward coin. As the adoption of sustainable homes continues to increase, lawmakers expect the value of the Green coin to increase. By being a holder of about 25% of the tokens, the state plans to be able to fund new housing projects with the program in the future. 

“Any revenue generated by the state pursuant to this section because of its status as a twenty-five percent (25%) interest owner, shall be deposited in a restricted receipt account for the purposes of funding future projects under this chapter,” the bill stated. 

Rhode Island’s history with blockchain adoption

However, it remains to be seen if the bill will scale through the states legislature. Like several other U.S. states, Rhode Island has long been looking for ways to make blockchain technology useful for its purposes. 

Last year, the state’s lawmakers introduced a bill to create a favorable regulatory environment to attract the blockchain industry. The proposers of the bill argued that the state needed to make a move to remain competitive in the emerging industry. 

However, the bill failed to be passed into law, only reaching 25% progress and dying in committee. Meanwhile, other U.S. states have also been racing to adopt digital assets technology. States like Texas and Wyoming have been among the prominent examples.

Watch: CoinGeek New York panel, How to Achieve Green Bitcoin: Energy Consumption & Environmental Sustainability

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