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article imageArizona bill allows companies to hold, share data on blockchains

By Ken Hanly     Apr 5, 2018 in Technology
Arizona governor Doug Ducey signed a new bill on April 3 that will allow Arizona corporations to hold and share data on a blockchain.
The bill was first introduced by representative Jeff Weninger. It amends the Arizona Revised Statutes to legally recognize data written and stored on systems using blockchain technology.
The bill was passed quickly
The Arizona House of Representatives passed the bill in just over a week, eight days after it was introduced. About a month later the Senate also passed the bill unanimously. In the House four Representatives abstained or voted against the bill. The bill was signed within a few days of reaching the governor's desk.
Arizona has passed a previous blockchain law
Arizona had for a year already begun to recognize signatures as recorded on a blockchain and smart contracts as legal documentation. The governor signed a bill to this effect in March of last year: "The measure was first introduced in early February, seeking to enshrine signatures recorded on a blockchain and smart contracts - self-executing pieces of code - under state law. Specifically, the bill aimed to make those types of records "considered to be in an electronic format and to be an electronic record"."
The text of the bill read in part: "A signature that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be in electronic form and to be an electronic signature ... A record or contract that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be in an electronic form and to be an electronic record."
In some respects the law mirrors that of a bill passed in Vermont some time ago that would make blockchain data admissible in court. The Vermont bill specifically noted that data tied to a blockchain would be a fact of record.
Other states also have passed blockchain legislation
Many US states are showing interest in blockchain applications even though some are still suspicious of associated cryptocoins.
Delaware back in 2017 passed similar measures to those in Arizona recognizing blockchain signatures and smart contracts as legal. Its legislation also provided a legal basis for trading stocks on a blockchain platform.
In New York state as well, four bills have been introduced with the aim of evaluating blockchain applications to be used for data storage.
In Nebraska a bill was introduced earlier this year that will, if passed, allow the state to recognize smart contracts and documents stored on a blockchain. It would also allow the state to adopt distributed ledger technology and authorize and define smart contracts.
Blockchain technology is explained on the appended video
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