Blockchain 2021 Legislation

Heather Morton 3/16/2021

keyboard highlighted in green

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.

Seventeen have introduced legislation relating to blockchain in 2021.

 

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

 

 

Blockchain 2021 Legislature

State: 

Bill Number:

Bill Summary:

Alabama

None

 

Alaska

None

 

Arkansas

None

 

Arizona

HB 2544
Passed House 2/23/21

Establishes the blockchain and cryptocurrency study committee.

 

California

SB 638

Existing law, the General Corporation Law, authorizes the formation of a corporation by executing and submitting articles of incorporation to the secretary of state for filing, according to specified procedures. Existing law, the Social Purpose Corporations Act, authorizes the formation of a social purpose corporation by executing and submitting articles of incorporation to the secretary of state for filing, as specified. Existing law authorizes, until Jan. 1, 2022, a corporation or a social purpose corporation that does not have outstanding securities listed on specified securities exchanges to adopt provisions within its articles of incorporation authorizing records administered by or on behalf of the corporation in which the names of all of the corporation’s stockholders of record, the address and number of shares registered in the name of each of those stockholders, and all issuances and transfers of stock of the corporation to be recorded and kept on or by means of blockchain technology, as specified. Existing law defines “blockchain technology” for these purposes to mean a mathematically secured, chronological, and decentralized consensus ledger or database. This bill makes these provisions operative indefinitely. The bill also revises the definition of “blockchain technology” to mean a decentralized data system, in which the data stored is mathematically verifiable, that uses distributed ledgers or databases to store specialized data in the permanent order of transactions recorded.

California

SB 689

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 requires the certificate to contain certain information and to be printed on chemically sensitized security paper, as specified. This bill authorizes a certified copy of a birth, death, or marriage record issued pursuant to those provisions to be issued, in addition to the required method described above, by means of blockchain technology, as defined. Existing law requires the secretary of the Government Operations Agency to appoint a blockchain working group and requires that group to submit a report containing specified information related to blockchain technology to the Legislature on or before July 1, 2020. This bill revises and recasts the definition of blockchain for purposes of those provisions.

Colorado

None

 

Connecticut

SB 1039

Requires (1) the Department of Administrative Services to issue a request for information for the incorporation of blockchain technology to make a state administrative function more efficient or cost effective, and (2) the Department of Economic and Community Development to develop a plan to promote existing remote work workspaces and incentivize the creation of new remote work workspaces.

Delaware

None

 

District of Columbia

None

 

Florida

HB 4119

Provides an appropriation for the Food Equity & Racial Disparities in Food Supply Chain Blockchain Pilot: St. Petersburg.

Georgia

None

 

Guam

None

 

Hawaii

HB 622

Requires the Hawaii technology development corporation to establish a blockchain working group to recommend a definition for blockchain technology and make recommendations for individuals, businesses, and state agencies to use blockchain technology and report to the legislature. Appropriates funds.

Hawaii

SCR 93

Requests the office of enterprise technology services to conduct a study on the potential benefits and value of blockchain technology to state government administration and affairs.

Hawaii

SR 72

Requests the office of enterprise technology services to conduct a study on the potential benefits and value of blockchain technology to state government administration and affairs.

Idaho

HB 327

Relates to financial technology; amends title 26, Idaho Code, by the addition of a new chapter 38, title 26, Idaho Code, to provide a short title, to define terms, to provide for utility tokens, to provide for powers and duties of the director, and to provide remedies for violations; and amends title 26, Idaho Code, by the addition of a new chapter 39, title 26, Idaho Code, to provide a short title, to define terms, to provide for a financial technology sandbox and a certain waiver, to provide for a financial technology sandbox application, to provide for the operation of the financial technology sandbox, to provide for revocation or suspension of the financial technology sandbox authorization, to provide for extension of the sandbox period, and to provide for rules and orders, bonds, restitution and applicability of the administrative procedure act.

Illinois

None

 

Indiana

None

 

Iowa

HF 799

Code chapter 554D, the uniform electronic transactions Act, facilitates the use of electronic transactions in commerce by giving legal recognition to electronic records, signatures, and contracts. This bill modifies the Code chapter by permitting the use of distributed ledger technology and smart contracts in electronic transactions. The bill defines “distributed ledger technology” as an electronic record of transactions or other data that is uniformly ordered, redundantly maintained or processed by one or more computers or machines to guarantee the consistency or nonrepudiation of the recorded transactions or other data and is validated by the use of cryptography. The bill defines “smart contract” as an event-driven program or computerized transaction protocol that runs on a distributed, decentralized, shared, and replicated ledger that executes the terms of a contract by taking custody over and instructing transfer of assets on the ledger. The bill adds contracts secured through distributed ledger technology and smart contracts to the definition of “contract.” The bill adds the concept of security through distributed ledger technology to the definitions of “electronic record” and “electronic signature.” The bill provides that a person who, in engaging in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, uses distributed ledger technology to secure information that the person owns or has the right to use retains the same rights of ownership or use with respect to such information as before the person secured the information using distributed ledger technology, unless in connection with a transaction with terms that expressly provide for the transfer of rights of ownership or use with respect to such information. The bill provides that a contract shall not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because the contract is a smart contract or contains a smart contract provision.

Iowa

SF 303

Code chapter 554D, the uniform electronic transactions Act, facilitates the use of electronic transactions in commerce by giving legal recognition to electronic records, signatures, and contracts. This bill modifies the Code chapter by permitting the use of distributed ledger technology and smart contracts in electronic transactions. The bill defines “distributed ledger technology” as an electronic record of transactions or other data that is uniformly ordered, redundantly maintained or processed by one or more computers or machines to guarantee the consistency or nonrepudiation of the recorded transactions or other data and is validated by the use of cryptography. The bill defines “smart contract” as an event-driven program or computerized transaction protocol that runs on a distributed, decentralized, shared, and replicated ledger that executes the terms of a contract by taking custody over and instructing transfer of assets on the ledger. The bill adds contracts secured through distributed ledger technology and smart contracts to the definition of “contract.” The bill adds the concept of security through distributed ledger technology to the definitions of “electronic record” and “electronic signature.” The bill provides that a person who, in engaging in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, uses distributed ledger technology to secure information that the person owns or has the right to use retains the same rights of ownership or use with respect to such information as before the person secured the information using distributed ledger technology, unless in connection with a transaction with terms that expressly provide for the transfer of rights of ownership or use with respect to such information. The bill provides that a contract shall not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because the contract is a smart contract or contains a smart contract provision.

Iowa

SF 541

Code chapter 554D, the uniform electronic transactions Act, facilitates the use of electronic transactions in commerce by giving legal recognition to electronic records, signatures, and contracts. This bill modifies the Code chapter by permitting the use of distributed ledger technology and smart contracts in electronic transactions. The bill defines “distributed ledger technology” as an electronic record of transactions or other data that is uniformly ordered, redundantly maintained or processed by one or more computers or machines to guarantee the consistency or nonrepudiation of the recorded transactions or other data and is validated by the use of cryptography. The bill defines “smart contract” as an event-driven program or computerized transaction protocol that runs on a distributed, decentralized, shared, and replicated ledger that executes the terms of a contract by taking custody over and instructing transfer of assets on the ledger. The bill adds contracts secured through distributed ledger technology and smart contracts to the definition of “contract.” The bill adds the concept of security through distributed ledger technology to the definitions of “electronic record” and “electronic signature.” The bill provides that a person who, in engaging in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, uses distributed ledger technology to secure information that the person owns or has the right to use retains the same rights of ownership or use with respect to such information as before the person secured the information using distributed ledger technology, unless in connection with a transaction with terms that expressly provide for the transfer of rights of ownership or use with respect to such information. The bill provides that a contract shall not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because the contract is a smart contract or contains a smart contract provision.

Kansas

None

 

Kentucky

None

 

Louisiana

None

 

Maine

None

 

Maryland

None

 

Massachusetts

None

 

Michigan

None

 

Minnesota

None

 

Missouri

None

 

Montana

None

 

Nebraska

None

 

Nevada

AB 163

Relating to elections; requires, with certain exceptions, proof of identity for voting in person; requires the Department of Motor Vehicles, under certain circumstances, to issue voter identification cards at no cost; authorizes, under certain circumstances, a county or city clerk to use a voting system with blockchain technology; revises the deadlines for returning and counting absent ballots; prohibits, with certain exceptions, a person from returning an absent ballot or mailing ballot on behalf of a voter; requires a county or city clerk to allow any member of the public to observe the counting of ballots; revises the deadline for the completion of the canvass of an election by a board of county commissioners; eliminates the authority for a person to register to vote after the close of registration; requires the secretary of state to enter into a cooperative agreement with the state registrar of vital statistics to obtain certain information relating to the statewide voter registration list; repeals provisions relating to voting by mail ballot and conducting certain elections affected by a disaster or emergency; and provides other matters properly relating thereto.

Nevada

SB 110

Creates the Emerging Technologies Task Force within the Department of Business and Industry; prescribes the membership, powers and duties of the Task Force; authorizes the director of the Department to create an Opportunity Center for Emerging Technology Businesses as part of the Office of Business Finance and Planning of the Department; and provides other matters properly relating thereto.

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

HB 296
Passed House 3/12/21

Provides that the unexpended balance of the appropriation to the higher education department in Subsection 2 of Section 39 of Chapter 81 of Laws 2020 to plan, design and construct a blockchain center at Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque in Bernalillo county shall not be expended for the original purpose but is changed to conduct feasibility studies, to design, develop, acquire, build, improve, furnish and equip information technology and to install a distributed ledger technology system at Central New Mexico Community College.

New York

AB 3099
SB 5643

Establishes the office of financial resilience to develop and implement new programs and initiatives for the purpose of supporting local economies and promoting resilient financial models.

New York

AB 3587

 

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. "Tracking" or "contact tracing" shall mean the protocol through which the infectious spread of the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and corresponding propagation of COVID-19 is monitored in individuals. 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

AB 3760
SB 1801
Passed Senate 2/10/21

Allows 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 3813
SB 1800
Passed Senate 2/22/21

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 3862
SB 4195

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

New York

AB 4332

Directs the state board of elections to study and evaluate the use of blockchain technology to protect voter records and election results.

North Carolina

None

 

North Dakota

None

 

N. Mariana Islands

None

 

Ohio

HB 177

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

Oklahoma

None

 

Oregon

None

 

Pennsylvania

None

 

Puerto Rico

None

 

Rhode Island

HB 5425

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

Rhode Island

SB 345

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

A. Samoa

None

 

South Carolina

HB 3493

Creates the South Carolina blockchain voting verification study committee to address utilizing blockchain technology to allow South Carolina voters to verify their votes.

South Carolina

HB 3495

 

Enacts the "South Carolina Blockchain Industry Empowerment Act of 2021" in order to establish this state as an incubator for tech industries seeking to develop innovation by using blockchain technology; adds s§33-6-245 so as to further provide for the construction of terms relating to stock and certificate tokens; amends §33-6-250, relating to the form and content of corporate stock certificates, so as to authorize corporations to issue certificate tokens in lieu of stock certificates; adds chapter 47 to title 34 to provide that a person who develops, sells, or facilitates the exchange of an open blockchain token is not subject to specified securities and money transmission laws, and provides specified verification authority to the attorney general and banking commissioner; adds chapter 51 to title 34 so as to specify that digital assets are property within the uniform commercial code, authorizes security interests in digital assets, establishes an opt-in framework for banks to provide custodial services for digital asset property as custodians, specifies standards and procedures for custodial services, clarifies the jurisdiction of South Carolina courts relating to digital assets, authorizes a supervision fee, and provides for other related provisions to digital assets; amends §35-11-105, relating to definitions under the South Carolina anti-money laundering act, so as to define the term "virtual currency"; and amends §35-11-110, relating to matters and transactions to which the anti-money laundering act does not apply, so as to provide that the act does not apply to buying, selling, issuing, or taking custody of payment instruments or stored value in the form of virtual currency or receiving virtual currency for transmission to a location within or outside the United States by any means.

South Dakota

None

 

Tennessee

None

 

Texas

HB 1576
SB 1076

Relates to the creation of a work group on blockchain matters concerning this state.

Texas

HB 2199
SB 1077

Relates to the establishment of the digital identity work group.

Texas

SB 344

Relates to the use of electronic signatures that employ blockchain or distributed ledger technology in certain business or governmental transactions.

U.S. Virgin Islands

None

 

Utah

None

 

Vermont

None

 

Virginia

None

 

Washington

None

 

West Virginia

None

 

Wisconsin

None

 

Wyoming

HB 142

 

Relates to corporations, partnerships and associations; authorizes the secretary of state to develop and implement a blockchain or other distributed ledger filing system; provides requirements for the filing system; provides definitions; authorizes the supreme court to develop a similar filing system for the chancery court;  authorizes the promulgation of rules; repeals the previous enabling legislation; creates an account; provides appropriations for the updating of filing systems by the secretary of state and the chancery court and for advertising; and provides for retention of a consultant and a report.

Wyoming

SF 38

Relates to corporations; provides for the formation and management of decentralized autonomous organizations and provides definition.

 

 LexisNexis Terms and Conditions

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

 

Additional Resources