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Florida Bill Would Legally Recognize Blockchain Signatures, Smart Contracts

A new bill introduced to the Florida House of Representatives aims to legally recognize blockchain records and smart contracts.

Jan 11, 2018 at 7:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:22 a.m. UTC

A lawmaker in Florida has introduced a bill that, if passed, would create a legal foundation for blockchain data and smart contracts in the U.S. state.

introduces multiple stipulations that blockchain ledgers and smart contracts be treated as legally-binding methods of data storage – provided that such measures do not break any pre-existing laws or regulations.

Notably, the bill states that a "record or contract that is secured through blockchain technology is in an electronic form and is an electronic record," and confirms that a signature recorded through a blockchain also qualifies as a valid electronic signature.

As a result of these qualifications, the bill outlines that, if a person uses a blockchain to secure interstate or foreign commercial ventures, it would not impact ownership rights. In other words, if someone used a blockchain ledger to store information, the bill would legally recognize that person's rights to that information.

Similarly, the bill states:

"A contract may not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because: 1. An electronic record was used in the formation of the contract [and] 2. The contract contains a smart contract term."

If signed into law, the bill would make Florida the latest state to recognize blockchain records and smart contracts. Last year, Arizona passed a similar measure, with identical notes on confirming blockchain records as electronic records, as well as giving smart contracts legal force.

in Vermont, when passed in 2016, allowed for the use of blockchain-based data as evidence in court.

Florida flag image via KMH Photovideo / Shutterstock

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