Nevada law adds blockchain, smart contract recognition to state statutes

Newswire: June 7, 2017.

Dateline: Carson City, Nev.

Nevada has passed a law recognizing the immutability of blockchain technology and forbidding county and municipal governments from imposing additional requirements on their use in electronic records. Nevada is the third state in the U.S. to take this kind of action.

Seen as a business-friendly move, Nevada Senate Bill 398 specifies that “If a law requires a record to be in writing, submission of a blockchain which electronically contains the record satisifes the law.”

Furthermore, local governments cannot place taxes, fees or other requirements on blockchain signatures or smart contracts, nor may they create or require licenses to use such things.

The bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Ben Kieckhefer (R-Carson City) said the bill grew out of an effort “to ensure Nevada has an environment welcoming and inclusive of startups.

“Instead of just incentivizing large companies to relocate to the state, we have policies incentivizing them and smaller companies to start and grow here,” he explained.

Nevada law in place before Senate Bill 398’s passage gave legal recognition to electrionic records. This bill specifically adds blockchain to that recognition.

In so doing, the legislation had to create a definition of what constitutes a blockchain, and that smart contracts are electronic records verified by them. It also had to specify that local governments are still free to enter into contracts using either, in the performance of their powers and duties.

Arizona in March passed a bill (then signed into law) recognizing blockchain signatures and smart contracts. It was similar to legislation Vermont passed in 2016. Arizona’s law does not proscribe local government taxation, licensing or regulation on blockchain use, however.

Hawaii and Maine have legislation pending to recognize blockchain signatures and smart contracts. So does Congress.

Read the full story here.

(Front page image via Nevada state legislature)