State of California Passes Bill AB 2658 To Recognize Blockchain Records

California Assemblymember Ian C. Calderon of District 57 introduced blockchain bill AB 2658 on Feb 15, 2018. The bill proposed a legal framework and a definition of blockchain technology to provide California-based businesses with greater certainty.

The California bill passed on May 30, 2018, with 76 aye votes. It defines blockchain as “a mathematically secured, chronological, and decentralized ledger or database of transactions or other data.”

Up until now, the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act specified that a record or signature may not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form and that a contract may not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because an electronic record was used in its formation. Among other things, the act provides that if a law requires a record to be in writing, or if a law requires a signature, an electronic record or signature satisfies the law.

Existing law specified that there is, in the Government Operations Agency, the Department of General Services, which shall develop and enforce policy and procedures and institute or cause the institution of those investigations and proceedings as it deems proper to assure effective operation of all functions performed by the department and to conserve the rights and interests of the state.

This bill, until January 1, 2022, would require the Secretary of the Government Operations Agency to appoint a blockchain working group on or before July 1, 2019. The bill would define blockchain and require the working group to report to the Legislature on the potential uses, risks, and benefits of the use of blockchain technology by the state government and California-based businesses, on or before July 1, 2020, as specified.

However, there is no current uniform definition on what constitutes blockchain technology. here are about six or seven other states that have a blockchain related bill, each having their own definition of the blockchain. In addition, the U.S. Uniform Law Commission has no engagement in this effort so far. This bill is the first stepping stone for blockchain and cryptocurrency regulation in the State of California.

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