The bill would encourage the development of distributed ledger and blockchain technology.
The Washington State Senate has introduced a bill to encourage the adoption of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. It provides the legal options to enforce standards such as blockchain-enabled digital signatures.
If it passes, SB 5638 will add an amendment to the Washington Electronic Authentication Act revising the act’s “purpose and construction” and definitions sections .
An Updated Blockchain Definition
The bill defines blockchain as “A cryptographically secured, chronological, and decentralized consensus ledger or consensus database maintained via internet, peer-to-peer network, or other similar interaction.”
It defines distributed ledger technology as ” Any distributed ledger protocol and supporting infrastructure, including blockchain, that uses a distributed, decentralized, shared, and replicated ledger.”
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The current law focuses on commerce through electronic messages and ensuring the legal recognition of electronic signatures. It also provides voluntary licensing mechanisms. The new bill also encourages blockchain development.
Thus far, the bill has completed a first reading. A nonpartisan committee tasked with analyzing and researching pending litigation will review the bill next.
Washington state already features 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 have hopped 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.