Ohio to Legally Recognise Blockchain Data
Ohio has officially become the latest state in the United States to legally recognize records and smart contracts stored on the blockchain.
The news comes just months after the lawmakers from Ohio introduced a bill in May to amend sections within the Uniform Electronics Transactions Act to treat data stored on blockchain as electronic records to provide a “safe harbor” to the nascent technology.
Part of the wording from the same bill (Senate Bill 300) was later incorporated into law (Senate Bill 200), which eventually got an approval by the Senate of the state in June and finally, was signed by Governor John Kasich into the state law last Friday, according to a release published by news outlet Business Wire on Monday.
The state’s Uniform Electronics Transactions Act has now been amended from its previous version after the governor’s approval. The new legislation states that any record or contract that’s secured through the emerging [blockchain] technology is considered to be an electronic record as it’s stored in an electronic form.
Furthermore, the act allows electronic signatures secured through the technology to be legally defined under the same category as other electronic signatures.
However, the passed bill doesn’t recognize ‘smart contracts’ as an electronic record, and therefore, no amendments have been made to the law to offer them a legal standing.
The Senate Bill 300 had originally suggested making it very clear that electronic contracts cannot be denied legal enforceability or effect simply because a smart contract’s term is attached to the contract – wording would have probably made a way for smart contracts to get approved by the state and made it eligible to be used as a legal document in the state.
Ohio is not the first state in the US to legally recognize blockchain data – Arizona passed a bill for the same way earlier. Meanwhile, California has also been working on a similar bill since February.