2019 Mid-Year Realty Blockchain Update

The steady progress being made in the implementation of blockchain and distributed ledger technology within various industries has gotten the attention of lawmakers and regulators with a multitude of bills coming up for votes this year. 

The State of Washington 2019 Senate Bill 5638: Recognizing the validity of distributed ledger technology was introduced by Sen. Sharon Brown on 1/25/19 and signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee on 4/26/19 with the official text of ’An electronic record may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because it is generated, communicated, received, or stored using distributed ledger technology’.   In, addition the Act sets out the intent of the legislature to ‘encourage the development of distributed ledger technology ‘ and legally defines ‘Blockchain’, ‘Distributed ledger technology’ and ‘Electronic record’.  Kudos to Washington State.

Other States getting ahead of the game include the State of Ohio’s 133rd General Assembly, where Rep. Rick Carfanga introduced on 4/24/19 a House Bill 220 for a revised code to allow a governmental entity to utilize distributed ledger technology, including blockchain; and the State of Tennessee with Gov. Bill Haslam signing Senate Bill 1662 on 3/22/18 amending Tennessee Code relative to electronic transactions with the official text of ‘Business and Commerce – As enacted, recognizes the legal authority to use distributed ledger technology and smart contracts in conducting electronic transactions; protects ownership rights of certain information secured by distributed ledger technology. – Amends TCA Title 12; Title 47; Title 48; Title 61 and Title 66’.  Nice going Tennessee – leading the way for innovation.

Not to be left out, European Governments are busy with the Italian Senate approving a bill defining distributed ledger technologies on 1/23/19 and the House of Representatives following suit with approval in February; the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies passed Bill 7363 on 2/14/19 providing a legal framework for securities issued over blockchains.