The Berkeley ICO came one step closer to becoming a reality this week, earning a significant vote of approval from the local city council. The California city wasn’t the first US locality to push for blockchain adoption, but it’s making up for lost time with innovation. City council officials in the Northern California’s Berkeley on Tuesday unanimously voted for the city manager to explore the perks of using blockchain technology and an “initial community offering” (ICO) to raise funds in lieu of a conventional muni-bond offering.
There aren’t too many firsts in a $3.8 trillion municipal bond market. But if they decide to move forward, Berkeley, would be the maiden city to use blockchain technology in public finance for muni-bond issuance, as Bloomberg pointed out.
The first project on the agenda for what the city considers a pilot program would be a blockchain-fueled $3 million note to raise funds for a new fire engine, as the Bond Buyer reported. The debt instrument would be a way for the city to test the waters for issuing bonds on a public ledger. If it’s successful, affordable housing projects could be next.