California Bill Extends Electronic Record Definition to Include Blockchain Signatures

Ian Calderon, a California lawmaker, introduced a bill named Assembly Bill 2658 on February 15, intending to make blockchain signatures and smart contracts legal. The Assembly Member proposed to update state’s electronic record laws by incorporating blockchain signatures and smart contract as part of the legislation. If the bill is passed, it will fall under the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act.

As per the existing state’s digital record law, “a record or signature may not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form and that a contract may not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because an electronic record was used in its formation.”

Blockchain Technology is an Electronic Record

However, Assemblyman Calderon, stated, “A record that is secured through blockchain technology is an electronic record.”

Based on his statement, a record or contract protected on the digital ledger technology is of electronic kind. Additionally, signatures registered on the blockchain technology meet the requirement of an electronic signature.

As a result, the bill essences, that when a person uses blockchain technology to store data it shall acknowledge the person’s right to that particular data. If signed into law, the measure would provide digital ledger technology and smart contracts the legal foundation required for greater adoption. The proposed bill needs to be passed by California’s legislature and signed by Governor Jerry Brown.

In accordance with the Assembly Bill 2658, lawmaker Calderon states: “The department may suspend a licensee from providing records by electronic transmission if there is a pattern or practices that demonstrate the licensee has failed to comply with the requirements of this section.”

“A licensee may appeal the suspension and resume its electronic transmission of records upon communication from the department that the changes the licensee made to its process or system to comply with the requirements of this section are satisfactory.”

Blockchain’s Legal Status in Other US States

The is not the first time a bill relating to blockchain technology and smart contracts is introduced to make it a legally enforceable. A Florida lawmaker introduced a measure to provide legal status for blockchain data and smart contracts during January. In 2017, Arizona passed the bill that gave blockchain signatures and smart contracts the legal status and more recently started accepting bitcoin for tax payments, as BTCManager reported February 10.

In a turning point moment, the U.S. state of Wyoming passes two blockchain bills. Wyoming’s House of Representatives unanimously voted in favor of bill HB0070 and HB0019. HB0070 outlines that utility tokens will be registered as traditional money or securities if it meets the requirements. The HB0019 immunes cryptocurrency from 2003 Wyoming Money Transmitter Act.

The moves come as US regulators are actively seeking for a nationwide crackdown on illegitimate coin offerings to safeguard investor benefits.

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