Vermont Governor Signs Bill Clearing Way for Blockchain Companies

Stan Higgins
May 31, 2018 at 17:30 UTC
Updated May 31, 2018 at 17:59 UTC
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Vermont’s governor has signed a bill allowing for the creation of so-called “blockchain-based limited liability companies,” public records show.

CoinDesk reported in January that state lawmakers were weighing the measure, which at the time referred to “digital currency limited liability companies” and contained language indicating that such businesses – effectively running on a distributed blockchain network – would pay taxes to the state in crypto. According to the text, those businesses are described as “limited liability compan[ies] organized pursuant to this title for the purpose of operating a business that utilizes blockchain technology for a material portion of its business activities.”

The most recent version of the text, according to LegiScan, shows that the language related to taxation has been stripped out, though it still contains sections regarding the limited liability companies as well as mandates for a “Fintech Summit” and a follow-up study of backing up public records using the tech (an earlier review ultimately deemed the use case too costly).

Among the requirements for setting up a blockchain-based company in Vermont: applicants must “specify whether the decentralized consensus ledger or database utilized or enabled by the BBLLC will be fully decentralized or partially decentralized and whether such ledger or database will be fully or partially public or private, including the extent of participants’ access to information and read and write permissions with respect to protocols.”

Vermont governor Phil Scott signed the bill on May 30, LegiScan reveals.

The newly-signed law also calls for a study – due before January 15 of next year – into the tech’s use in insurance and banking and how state officials can clear the way for such applications within the state’s economy.

“The Department of Financial Regulation shall review the potential application of blockchain technology to the provision of insurance and banking and consider areas for potential adoption and any necessary regulatory changes in Vermont,” the text states.

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