Blockchain 2020 Legislation

Heather Morton 12/11/2020

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Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that records and shares every transaction that occurs in the network of users.

One example of how blockchain works is in a sales transaction using distributed ledger technology and a digital currency as payment in the transaction. In this example, the buyer initiates the purchase, known as the block, which contains transaction data such as the date, time and payment amount. Both the buyer and seller can see the block of transaction data, so both parties can confirm that the payment was sent and received. Each transaction’s block is created in a shared online accounting ledger that can involve multiple buyers and sellers within a network. As new transactions occur between the buyer and seller, each data block is recorded and forms the chain that documents the transaction history. 

Blockchains can be permissionless, also called public, which are typically open for anyone to view and participate. Or, blockchains can be permissioned, which limit the participation to a single administrator or a specific group of participants.

Digital currencies are only one way to use blockchain. Other evolving applications can include online voting, medical records, insurance policies, property and real estate records, copyrights and licenses and supply chain tracking. They can also include smart contracts, where payouts between the contracted parties are embedded in the blockchain and automatically execute when contractual conditions have been met.

Twenty-six states introduced legislation relating to blockchain in 2020. Seven bills and resolutions were enacted or adopted.

 

The box allows you to conduct a full text search or type the state name.

 

 

Blockchain 2020 Legislation

State:

Bill Number:

Bill Summary:

Alabama

None

 

Alaska

None

 

Arkansas

None

 

Arizona

HB 2400
Passed House 2/26/20

Establishes the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Study Committee to review data on the scope of blockchain and cryptocurrency throughout the country, compile an overview of potential legislation, solicit ideas and opinions of industry experts on additional legislation and submit a report regarding the committee's findings and recommendations of legislative priorities that will foster a positive blockchain and cryptocurrency economic environment in this state.

California

SB 373
Passed Senate 5/6/19

Existing law requires the state registrar, local registrar, or county recorder, upon request and payment of the required fee, to supply to an applicant a certified copy of the record of a birth, fetal death, death, marriage, or marriage dissolution registered with the official. Existing law authorizes the state registrar, a local registrar, or a county recorder to furnish a certified copy of a birth, death, or marriage record to an authorized person and defines the term “authorized person” for these purposes. Existing law requires certain types of applicants for a certified record to execute a statement sworn under penalty of perjury that the person is an authorized person who is allowed to receive the certified record. Existing law requires certified copies of birth, death, and marriage records be printed on chemically sensitized security paper with specified features, including, among others, watermarks, fluorescent fibers, and intaglio print. This bill authorizes a county, until Jan. 1, 2022, to issue certified copies of marriage records by means of blockchain technology, as defined, and would exempt those records from the required physical properties and features in the provisions described above.

Colorado

HB 1072
Passed House 3/10/20

The bill declares that new technologies, such as blockchain, telemetry, improved sensors, and advanced aerial observation platforms, can improve monitoring, management, conservation, and trading of water and enhance confidence in the reliability of data underlying water rights transactions. To advance the potential use of these new technologies, the bill: Authorizes and directs the University of Colorado, in collaboration with the Colorado water institute at Colorado State University, to conduct feasibility studies and pilot deployments of these new technologies to improve water management in Colorado; and appropriates $40,000 from the general fund, contingent on the University of Colorado's receipt of a matching $40,000 in gifts, grants, and donations, for the purpose of funding the studies and pilot programs.

Connecticut

HB 5210

Prohibits the use of noncompete agreements in the blockchain technology industry.

Delaware

SB 244
Signed by governor 7/23/20, Chapter 264

Continues the practice of amending periodically the Statutory Trust Act to keep it current and to maintain its national preeminence; adds new definitions for the terms document and electronic transmission, includes distributed ledger technology.

District of Columbia

None

 

Florida

HB 1077

Renames the Florida Blockchain Task Force as the Florida Financial Technology and Blockchain Task Force, revises the duties of the task force and revises the date of a report.

Florida

HB 1391
Signed by governor 6/30/20, Chapter 161
SB 1870
Substituted 3/9/20

Establishes Florida Digital Service (FDS) within the Department of Management Services; transfers specified powers, duties and functions of department to FDS; requires FDS to develop enterprise architecture for all state departments and agencies; creates Financial Technology Sandbox Program; provides waivers of statutory and rule requirements to persons who want to make innovative financial products or services available to consumers; provides application requirements; requires posting of consumer protection bonds; provides operation of program; provides that certain persons are not immune from civil damages and are subject to criminal and consumer protection laws.

Florida

SB 1404
Died on calendar 3/14/20

Extends the deadline for the Florida Blockchain Task Force to submit its report to the governor and the Legislature.

Georgia

HR 875

Creates the House Study Committee on Financing Options for Cannabis-based Businesses.

Guam

None

 

Hawaii

HB 2594
Passed House 2/28/20

Requires the office of enterprise technology services (ETS) to establish a blockchain working group to determine a recommended definition for blockchain technology and recommendations for individuals, businesses, and state agencies to use blockchain technology and report to the legislature. Appropriates funds.

Idaho

None

 

Illinois

HB 4418

Amends the Election Code. Requires the State Board of Elections, in consultation with the Department of Innovation and Technology, to study and evaluate the use of blockchain technology to protect voter records and election results with the assistance of specified experts. Requires the Board to submit a report on the use of blockchain technology to the governor and General Assembly. Repeals the provisions on Jan. 1, 2023.

Indiana

None

 

Iowa

None

 

Kansas

HB 2105
Passed House 2/21/19

Creates and amends law related to limited liability companies (LLCs) in the Kansas Revised Limited Liability Company Act (RLLCA), Business Entity Standard Treatment Act (BEST Act), and other statutes, as follows. Requires an LLC to maintain a current record identifying the name and last known business, residence, or mailing address of each member and manager, and to allow the use of electronic networks or databases, including distributed electronic networks or databases, to maintain records. Throughout the bill, adds provisions allowing the use of electronic networks or databases, including distributed electronic networks or databases, for certain electronic transmissions.

Kentucky

SB 55
Signed by governor 4/24/20, Act 108

Creates a new section of KRS Chapter 42 to create a six-member Blockchain Technology Working Group; attaches the working group to the Commonwealth Office of Technology; requires the working group to examine the applicability of blockchain technology for various utility sectors and report to the governor and the Legislative Research Commission by Dec. 1, of each year.

Louisiana

None

 

Maine

None

 

Maryland

None

 

Massachusetts

HB 3763

Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the state secretary shall, pursuant to this act, establish a pilot program to provide for convenient voting for military personnel, their families and civilians stationed or working abroad who are allowed to register and vote under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), P.L. 99-410. The pilot program shall provide for the use of smart phones to improve voter engagement and the convenience and security of voting. The state secretary shall provide for a pilot program for integration with the state voters registration system, by a metrically secure authentication, electronic ballot delivery to smart phones, an intuitive voting experience that requires no voter training, the secure return of voted ballots in the redundant, immutable storage of ballots on a block chain infrastructure and an easy way to tabulate and consolidate the results. The pilot program shall include: (i) independent security evaluation and post-election audits; (ii) block chain infrastructure; (iii) the ability to spoil ballot, whereby a second ballot could be issued to a voter and only the voter’s last ballot would be counted; and (iv) automatic preparation of tabulatable ballots that can provide for automatically printed ballots, which can be inserted directly into a ballot tabulating machine. The state secretary shall partner with a company that has demonstrated security and capacity to deliver the requirements of the pilot program.

Massachusetts

SB 200

Establishes a special commission to investigate and study the emerging technologies of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Michigan

None

 

Minnesota

None

 

Missouri

None

 

Montana

None

 

Nebraska

LB 9

Prohibits cities, counties, and villages from taxing or regulating distributed ledger technology.

Nevada

No regular 2020 session

 

New Hampshire

None

 

New Jersey

AB 320

This bill requires the state of New Jersey to review and approve a viable blockchain-based, digital payment platform to provide payment services to legal and licensed businesses in this state that do not have access to traditional financial services and are forced to operate in cash-only or cash-heavy environments. The purpose of the payment platform is to provide a safe, secure, and compliant system that does not exclude these businesses from participating in digital commerce. The bill requires the payment platform to provide businesses with access to cashless transactions and to secure revenue on a one-to-one basis of virtual currency to U.S. dollars. A business shall only have access to the payment platform with approval from the state. The payment platform shall provide the ability to manage and process all business expenditures and allow all transactions to be recorded on an immutable blockchain ledger. The payment platform shall facilitate regulatory compliance, provide for audits by the state, and allow for payment of sales tax to local municipalities.

New Jersey

AB 1178
Passed Assembly 10/29/20
SB 898

Permits corporations to use blockchain technology for certain recordkeeping requirements.

New Jersey

AB 2891
SB 3132

Creates the Digital Asset and Blockchain Technology Act.

New Mexico

SB 113

Creates the blockchain technology task force; provides duties; makes an appropriation.

New Mexico

SJM 9
Passed Senate 2/13/20

Relates to blockchain technology task force.

New York

AB 1398
SB 6037
Passed Senate 2/25/20

Relates to the development and creation of distributed ledger technology, which is a mathematically secured, chronological, and decentralized consensus ledger or database, whether maintained via internet interaction, peer-to-peer network, or otherwise used to authenticate, record, share and synchronize transactions in their respective electronic ledgers or databases, and business entities that develop distributed ledger technology.

New York

AB 1683
SB 4142
Passed Senate 2/25/20

Relates to allowing signatures, records and contracts secured through blockchain technology to be considered in an electronic form and to be an electronic record and signature; allows smart contracts to exist in commerce.

New York

AB 10462

Establishes the test, trust, and certify act to establish a protocol for COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and immunity certification and to protect individuals' right to privacy; grants individuals the right to control their self-sovereign identification data; provides for the anonymization of biometric data for protection from law enforcement. Such protocol may be implemented through, but not limited to, the use of smart phone applications, an anonymized or pseudonymous digital tracing identifier, and blockchain, GPS, or Bluetooth technology.

New York

SB 8887

Establishes a task force to study and report on the potential implementation of blockchain technology in state record keeping, information storage, and service delivery.

North Carolina

None

 

North Dakota

No regular 2020 session

 

N. Mariana Islands

None

 

Ohio

HB 220
Passed House 12/2/20

Enacts §9.16 of the Revised Code to allow a governmental entity to utilize distributed ledger technology, including blockchain technology.

Ohio

HB 560

Modifies the law governing elections. Requires the secretary of state to establish a pilot program to permit a uniformed services voter who is currently stationed outside the United States to return a voted ballot to the board of elections by electronic means and for the board to create a paper version of the voted ballot for counting purposes. The pilot program shall use encrypted blockchain technology to transmit ballots in a manner that protects the security and integrity of the process and protects the voter's privacy. The secretary of state shall select the boards of elections that shall participate in the pilot program.

Oklahoma

SB 1430

Relates to implementing blockchain technology; directs the planning of a new financial institution to be a state-chartered institution; names the State Banking Department and Oklahoma Department of Commerce to coordinate requirements for certain institution; requires use of blockchain technology; sets standards for certain institution; provides for certain integration into banking and financial regulations.

Oklahoma

SB 1669

Relates to financial technology; makes legislative findings; creates the financial technology sandbox for the testing of financial products and services in Oklahoma; authorizes limited waivers of statutes and rules under certain conditions; establishes standards and procedures for sandbox applications, operations and supervision; authorizes reciprocity agreements with other regulators; requires criminal history background checks; creates an account; requires a consumer protection bond.

Oklahoma

SB 1741
Passed Senate 3/11/20

Relates to business entities; relates to the Oklahoma General Corporation Act; authorizes electronic transmission of certain notice; clarifies procedures for certain consent effective on future date; establishes procedures for certain document form, signature and delivery; authorizes certain electronic transactions; provides exceptions; clarifies applicability of provisions; relate to the Oklahoma General Corporation Act; authorizes electronic transmission of certain notice.

Oklahoma

SB 1792
Passed Senate 3/9/20

Relates to financial technology; creates Oklahoma Financial Technology Access and Improvement Act; defines terms; creates regulatory sandbox program within Oklahoma Department of Commerce; establishes duties and authority of Department in administering program; enumerates information to be included in application form prescribed by Department; authorizes application fee; requires application for each product or service.

Oregon

None

 

Pennsylvania

None

 

Puerto Rico

None

 

Rhode Island

HB 7989

Establishes an economic growth blockchain act, set regulations for the sale of hemp, regulates virtual and digital assets and establishes depository banks for these purposes.

Rhode Island

SB 2777

This bill establishes an economic growth blockchain act, set regulations for the sale of hemp, regulate virtual and digital assets and establish depository banks for these purposes.

A. Samoa

None  

South Carolina

SB 1158
Adopted 3/10/20

Acknowledges the importance of emerging blockchain technology and to call upon the residents of South Carolina to join in encouraging the promotion of blockchain technology in our state.

South Dakota

None

 

Tennessee

HR 249

Directs the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions to conduct a study relative to the application of blockchain and related technology in the financial services sector and to recommend any changes to the laws and rules of this state that impact the application of those technologies in this state.

Texas

No regular 2020 session

 

U.S. Virgin Islands

None

 

Utah

HB 292
Enacting clause struck 3/12/20

This bill requires a study related to internet voting.

Utah

HB 404
Enacting clause struck 3/12/20

This bill amends provisions in Title 16, Chapter 10a, Utah Revised Business Corporation Act, related to corporate records. This bill: defines terms; authorizes a corporation to: use an electronic network to create and maintain corporate records; use a data address to identify a corporation's shareholder; and accept a shareholder vote if signed by a network signature that corresponds to a data address; provides requirements for the use of electronic networks; and makes technical and conforming changes.

Vermont

None

 

Virginia

HJR 23

Requests the Department of Elections to conduct a study to (i) determine the kinds of blockchain technology that could be used to secure voter records and election results, (ii) determine the costs and benefits of using such technology as compared to traditional registration and election security measures, and (iii) make recommendations on whether and how to implement blockchain technology in practices affecting the security of voter records and election results.

Virginia

HJR 63

Establishes a 19-member, two-year joint subcommittee to identify research and economic development opportunities to inform a statewide, comprehensive, and coordinated strategy relating to blockchain technology.

Virginia

HJR 82

Requests the Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority to identify blockchain technology research and economic development opportunities with the goal of creating a statewide, comprehensive, and coordinated strategy relating to blockchain technology. In conducting its study, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority shall analyze and consider (i) economic development opportunities in the commonwealth available through the utilization of blockchain technology; (ii) different types of blockchain technology and the feasibility of economic development for each type; (iii) the creation of a statewide, comprehensive, and coordinated strategy to encourage commercial activity in the blockchain technology sector; (iv) opportunities for deployment of blockchain technology in state government; and (v) strategies to incentivize the development of blockchain companies in the Commonwealth. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority shall submit its report to the governor and the 2021 and 2022 Regular Sessions of the General Assembly.

Virginia

HJR 105

Establishes a 19-member, two-year joint subcommittee to identify research and economic development opportunities to inform a statewide, comprehensive, and coordinated strategy relating to blockchain technology.

Washington

HB 2604

Fosters economic growth in Washington by supporting a certain regulatory environment for blockchain and distributed ledger technology solutions.

Washington

SB 6028
Signed by governor 3/18/20, Chapter 57

Adopts the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA). Requires electronic records and signatures be given the same legal effect as ink signatures and paper records. Updates provisions throughout the code to be consistent with UETA.

Washington

SB 6065
Vetoed by governor 4/3/20

Establishes the Washington blockchain work group to examine various potential applications for blockchain technology including, but not limited to, applications in computing, banking and other financial services.

West Virginia

SB 514
Passed Senate 2/25/20

Amends the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §5B-9-1, §5B-9-2, §5B-9-3, §5B-9-4, §5B-9-5, §5B-9-6, §5B-9-7, and §5B-9-8, all relating to the West Virginia FinTech Regulatory Sandbox Program; defines terms; establishes requirements for participants to temporarily test innovative financial products or services on a limited basis without otherwise being licensed or authorized to act under the laws of the state; establishes scope of the ability to operate without otherwise being licensed or authorized to act with respect to approved financial products or services; provides consumer protections; establishes time limitations on the ability to operate without otherwise being licensed or authorized to act with respect to approved financial products or services; and provides reporting requirements.

Wisconsin

None

 

Wyoming

HB 27
Signed by governor 3/13/20, Chapter 97

Creates the select committee on blockchain, financial technology and digital innovation; provides for appointment of members and executive branch liaisons; provides appropriations; and provides for an effective date.

 

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Heather Morton is a program principal in Fiscal Affairs. She covers financial services, alcohol production and sales, telecommunications and medical malpractice issues for NCSL.

 

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