Ohio Becomes Latest US State to Legally Recognize Blockchain Data
After initially introducing a blockchain-based bill in May, Ohio has become the latest U.S. state to legally recognize data stored and transacted on a blockchain. The bill seeks to treat blockchain data and smart contracts as electronic records, which should help create a safe haven for this emerging technology within the state.
This type of legislature will allow smart contracts – and other contracts secured through a blockchain – to hold the same legal standing as any other electronic signature would.
This change in classification came into effect on Friday when the governor of Ohio finally signed this amendment of Ohio’s Uniform Electronic Transaction Act into effect. This is a huge step for the technologies overall adoption and should promote blockchain based startups to gather within the state.
This type of legal recognition is a big first step for the growing field; however, previously proposed amendments of the act called on smart contracts to be even more highly regarded within the state’s contract laws. In fact, initially proposed language could have paved the way for smart contracts to be used as binding, legal documents.
Nonetheless, Ohio has now joined Arizona as being the only states to legally recognizing blockchain-based data and smart contracts. California has also been trying to pass similar legislature since February of this year. Nebraska and Florida previously expressed interest in such an act; however, both bill proposals were postponed indefinitely.