The bill would encourage the development of distributed ledger and blockchain technology.
The Washington State Senate has introduced a bill that would encourage the adoption of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies through an amendment to an existing law. The bill provides the legal means necessary to enforce standards such as blockchain-enabled digital signatures.
SB 5638 was introduced on January 25th and of passed would add an amendment to the Washington Electronic Authentication Act and revise the “purpose and construction” and definitions sections of the act.
The bill adds a definition for blockchain:
“Blockchain’ means a cryptographically secured, chronological, and decentralized consensus ledger or consensus database maintained via internet, peer-to-peer network, or other similar interaction.”
And one for distributed ledger technology:
“Distributed ledger technology’ means any distributed ledger protocol and supporting infrastructure, including blockchain, that uses a distributed, decentralized, shared, and replicated ledger.”
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The law as it currently stands focuses on commerce through electronic messages and ensuring the legal recognition of electronic signatures. It also provides voluntary licensing mechanisms to that end. The new bill would add the encouragement of blockchain development as well.
The bill is sponsored by Senators Sharon Brown, Ann Rivers, Shelly Short, and Randi Becker, all Republicans. So far the bill has completed a first reading and will be reviewed by committee next. The committee is a nonpartisan group whose job it is to analyze and research pending legislation.
Washington State is already in the possession of a growing and robust blockchain scene, which includes NEM, Stably, RChain, and StormX. Gaining formal recognition could speed that growth even more and encourage crypto-innovation.
Other states are also getting on the blockchain wagon. Wyoming, Ohio, and Arizona have passed blockchain bills and the federal government is also considering a blockchain related bill that would exclude cryptocurrency from the definition of securities.