Dale Crafts

Maine has long been known for its innovative spirit and Yankee ingenuity.

We are a practical bunch that work hard and understand the value of a dollar. We pioneered the ship building industry, the paper industry, the shoe industry, and now the outdoor industry.

I am a seventh generation Mainer, former legislator and small businessman. And while I love our traditions, I am more excited about the future and how Maine can benefit from the burgeoning blockchain industry.

Yes, we love our traditions in Maine, but to remain a force in the future we must be open to the possibilities that these new technologies offer us.

Blockchain technology — a shared database that stores data in blocks linked together in a chain which tracks actions and transactions in chronological order —  is often lumped into conversations with cryptocurrency that is often defined by a handful of rogue actors looking to get rich quick off new technologies. To leave the conversation on blockchain at just those snapshots, however, leaves us without exploring the vast opportunities that blockchain can provide us to enhance our lives and protect our privacy.

In fact, of the top 100 companies in the world — almost half, 44, employ blockchain technology. These companies represent myriad sectors from finance to retail — health care to energy. Blockchain helps PepsiCo run its supply chains more efficiently, Roche uses blockchain to improve health care outcomes, and Raytheon has a grant from the U.S. Air Force to study the use of blockchain in battle management and situational awareness operations.


As a rural state with a steep history of manufacturing and agriculture, blockchain technology can offer farmers and small towns devastated by the loss of traditional manufacturing plants the opportunity to thrive in uniquely different ways. Dynamics 2K, a Colorado company, recently purchased 30,000 square feet of industrial space in Lewiston with plans to expand to Western Maine. Plentiful industrial space that once housed paper mills among other legacy industries offers mining operations access to space, resources and skilled workers, while investing in the local communities.

Similarly, blockchain technology can also help farmers track and trace crops and make our supply chain more transparent.

Maine, although rooted in traditional industries, has become an incubator for Web3 technology, which decentralizes future internet experiences and provides individual control over data and privacy. Given that many see Web3 and blockchain as the future, it would be in Maine’s best interest to explore what this industry could mean for the state. At the very least, it attracts younger workers in a state that is yearly ranked as the oldest in the nation.

Likewise, it would also be advantageous for our federal delegation to understand the needs and challenges of these infant technologies, so that appropriate guardrails can be established that promote growth without sacrificing financial or data integrity and provide end users greater control with more transparency. Some efforts were undertaken in this year’s Legislature to also study the use of blockchain in elections, since its decentralized platform would provide greater security in a system now fraught with skepticism and mistrust.

Our state and federal leaders should be following, studying and engaging with leaders in this industry and exploring what partnerships would mean for both our economic future and the future experience of our internet.

Dale Crafts of Lisbon is former state representative, former candidate for Congress, and small business owner.

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