California County Approves Blockchain-based Digital Wallet for Gov’t Services by Cointelegraph

Santa Cruz voted to approve the use of a blockchain-based digital wallet for government services and official documentation and is set to begin a pilot program in July 2023

The county of Santa Cruz in Northern California is one of the latest to adopt and implement blockchain-based solutions on a governmental level. 

In a meeting of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors held on April 25, the members unanimously decided to go forward with implementing the use of digital wallets for government services and official documentation purposes.

According to the final consensus of the meeting, the white-label digital wallet powered by Humbl will launch a three-stage pilot program starting in July 2023. Beta testers during the pilot period will be mobile users seeking to access government services such as bicycle registration and RV parking registration.

Other potential pilots would be for registration of park facilities, tracking volunteer hours, over-the-counter building permit distribution and pet licensing.

Zach Friend, a supervisor for Santa Cruz County involved with the situation, said:

“We believe the value of digitizing paper documents, records, and services is an important step forward for the convenience of Santa Cruz County residents and improving equity and access for our community.”

Following a successful pilot, the county plans to provide a formal report and a rollout plan for no later than September 2023. 

The digital wallet project began to take shape in April 2022 after the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors collaborated with Humbl on the digital wallet technology infrastructure needed to begin a pilot program. 

While local officials are pushing forward with the plans for a digital wallet, an open discussion forum on the county’s website revealed concern from local residents.

One such commenter by the name of Becky Seinbruner asked to “suspend further action and progress” on the digital wallet developments. Seinbruner raised concerns over “inappropriate use and sales of personal data” on the part of the infrastructure provider Humbl.

According to the official documents, during the pilot period, local officials will be assessing if users trust the underlying technology and understand what is happening “under the hood.”