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California Millennial Assembly-Member Pushes Bill to Recognize Blockchain

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:05 PM
Gerelyn Terzo
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:05 PM

The bill on electronic records would advance blockchain use for smart contracts and electronic signatures in the state.  Assembly-member Ian Calderon (D-Calif.), the maiden millennial elected to the state’s legislature at 27 years old (he’s now in his early 30s), launched California Assembly Bill 2658 in recent days to update an existing law to encompass blockchain technology for electronic signatures and smart contracts.

California is transforming into a blockchain-friendly place alongside other states in the region, including Arizona and Wyoming, for instance. But California could set a precedent, considering the state’s population of 39 million  is one-eighth of the entire United States, not to mention the state’s $2.3 trillion economy, whose size rivals that of the entire UK region.

The new bill, which builds on the existing law dubbed the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, paves the way for an electronic record or signature secured by the blockchain to be deemed legal and enforceable. Key revisions in the latest version include –

  • the definition of “electronic” record and “electronic signature” would be  expanded to encompass those secured via the blockchain
  • the legal definition of “contract” would be expanded to encompass a smart contract
  • data ownership/use would extend to someone performing interstate or foreign commerce on the blockchain in California “with respect to that information as before the person secured the information using blockchain technology,” as per the bill 

Elsewhere in the state, local governments are similarly looking to the blockchain for greater efficiency. Berkeley, Calif. has partnered with tech startup Neighborly to launch blockchain-fueled muni-bonds in an ICO to raise money for housing and other projects.

Meanwhile, Democrat Brian Forde, a former MIT digital currency exec, is running for Congress in Orange County, Calif. where the likes of Amazon and Google have set up shop. He is gaining the support of some blockchain veterans because of his knowledge in cryptocurrencies. For instance, the following investors have donated the highest amount allowed by the government of $2,700 to Forde’s campaign, according to Bloomberg  Businessweek-

Image credit: Bloomberg

US Progress

Meanwhile, California’s neighbor Arizona has been progressive on blockchain policy. At about this time last year, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed a blockchain bill similar to California’s into law, making blockchain-fueled electronic signatures and smart contracts valid.  Arizona is also behind a law to allow bitcoin as a form of payment for taxes.

Across the country, the Florida Senate has similarly developed a bill  that would make blockchain-driven contracts enforceable. As states adopt blockchain-friendly policies, it’s only a matter of time before the technology makes its way to Washington, DC.

Featured image from Shutterstock.