I served as a pre-law intern this summer for Blockchain Commons, a not-for-profit organization domiciled in Wyoming. As their mission statement says, “[Blockchain Commons] advocates for the creation of open, interoperable, secure & compassionate digital infrastructure to enable people to control their own digital destiny and to maintain their human dignity online.” Working remotely, I was able to partake in contributing toward their mission with a cohort of interns from all around the world. All the interns were spread out contributing to different projects, which were primarily software engineering projects. However, two other interns and I worked on the legal side of things to research, prepare, and advocate for blockchain-related legislation.

Kinniry ’23 working on zoom for Blockchain Commons

The highlight of my summer occurred in mid-June when I was able to spearhead research to later advocate for an e-Residency program in the state of Wyoming. I researched and analyzed e-Residency, which is an internet-based form of legal residency established in Estonia. The recent pandemic catalyzed the growth of digital business management, and Estonia set the stage as the first country to offer e-Residency. e-Residency includes a government-issued digital identity and elevated access to Estonia’s business services for people looking to run a business without the traditional brick-and-mortar office space (e.g., banking and accounting). A person who goes through the relatively streamlined process to become an e-Resident of Estonia then has access to establish an EU company from anywhere in the world.

In front of Wyoming’s Blockchain Select Committee, I delivered testimony (3:21:05) alongside Christopher Allen (Blockchain Commons CEO) to propose the idea of e-Residency program for the state of Wyoming. Wyoming has been a global frontrunner in drafting and passing legislation related to blockchain, so it was an amazing experience to both listen and contribute to their impactful work. The blockchain space is confusing to many, overloaded with misinformation, and the lack of regulation tends to turn people away from the technology. Creating legislation and assisting the promotion of blockchain technology via legislation is necessary for its continued success. Wyoming continues to do amazing work, and I’m glad I was able to experience their work firsthand.

Thank you to the Coons family for supporting this endeavor this summer. I greatly appreciated this experience!

Collin Kinniry ’23