Posted on

California Bill Would Legally Recognize Blockchain Stocks

California could become the next U.S. state that allows companies to store data – including information about stockholders – on a blockchain.

Bill 838 was first introduced by Senator Robert Hertzberg in January, but public filings show that the measure has picked up steam in recent days. The State Senate’s Banking and Financial Institutions Committee referred the measure to the Judiciary Committee on April 18 after advancing it with a “do pass” recommendation.

If approved by that committee, the full Senate will vote on the measure, which would legally recognize information about a company’s stocks, including ownership, stored on a blockchain.

The latest version of the bill would allow “records administered by or on behalf of the corporation in which the names of all of the corporation’s stockholders of record, the address and number of shares registered in the name of each of those stockholders, and all issuances and transfers of stock of the corporation to be recorded and kept on or by means of blockchain technology or one or more distributed electronic networks.”

In a statement, Hertzberg said the bill is part of a move to help his state keep up with evolving financial technology, explaining:

“The world around us is changing, and government must adapt with these rapidly evolving times. California needs to continue our legacy of taking on new and developing technologies, especially ones like blockchain, which is being embraced worldwide and presents a strong level of security that is resistant to hacking.”

Should California approve the measure – an outcome that is far from guaranteed – the state would join Delaware and Wyoming in allowing companies to use the tech for administrative purposes.

California’s proposed law includes several stipulations, declaring that the data must be capable of being “converted into clearly legible paper within a reasonable period of time,” and that the records can be used to store information stock certificates already contain, according to the text

The data would have to be “recorded and kept on or by means of blockchain technology or one or more distributed electronic networks,” according to the legislation.

Calfornia State House image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Posted on

Lawmaker Says 'Tennessee Is Ready for Blockchain' at Bill Hearing

A bill to recognize blockchain signatures as legal electronics records could move swiftly through Tennessee’s legislature, lawmakers suggested during a hearing on Wednesday.

According to the Nashville Post, local stakeholders met with members of the Tennessee General Assembly to discuss the measure, which was submitted earlier this month state lawmaker Jason Powell, as previously reported by CoinDesk.

The bill stipulates that “a signature that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be in an electronic form and to be an electronic signature,” and also contains language on the use of smart contracts as well. The proposed law is in the vein of other pieces of legislation filed in Florida and Nebraska in recent days.

As quoted by the post, lawmakers in the General Assembly have struck a positive tone about the bill and its prospects for passage.

“Tennessee is ready for blockchain,” said Rep. Pat Marsh, who added that he expected it to move through the legislature. “We are open for business.”

Among the startups to attend the hearing was Change Healthcare, represented by Emily Vaughn, the firm’s product development director. She argued that the state could benefit from enshrining the tech’s characteristics into state law.

“When you guys are considering ways in which Tennessee could benefit from this technology, there are opportunities to bring new businesses here and opportunities to grow our existing businesses,” she argued.

Image Credit: Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Posted on

4 Blockchain Bills Introduced in New York Legislature

A lawmaker in New York has introduced four bills in an effort to spur research into possible uses for blockchain by the state’s government.

The proposed laws from Assemblyman Clyde Vanel (D-33) would establish legal language for the technology (similar to an effort undertaken in Arizona earlier this year) under state law while also creating studies around its application for local and state elections, including the verification of voter tallies.

The first bill would to add sections to New York’s technology law which define “blockchain technology” and “smart contract,” as well as provide a legal understanding for digital signatures stored on a blockchain.

The second bill “directs the state board of elections to study and evaluate the use of blockchain technology to protect voter records and election results,” according to the text.

It gives this study a year to produce a report explaining whether a blockchain platform can help limit or prevent voter fraud, improve cybersecurity around digital voting platforms, maintain better voter records and more efficiently share election results.

The third bill also calls for a study and the creation of a task force to determine whether a blockchain platform can be used by the state government to store records and share information quickly and efficiently. This particular measure echoes one pursued in Vermont in 2016, though in that case officials ultimately passed on greenlighting such a platform.

The New York bill would require the task force to hold at least one public hearing during its study, with a final report due later than Jan. 1, 2019.

The fourth and final bill would, if passed, create a digital currency task force to determine the impact of cryptocurrencies on New York financial markets.

Public records don’t offer any clear picture on the future trajectory of the bills, with three of them being referred to a committee related to government options.

New York Assembly image via Wikimedia Commons

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.