A number of blockchain-focused bills have been making the rounds in California’s State government. Elected officials are working to see them be signed by Governor Jerry Brown.
News out of California concerning blockchain and cryptocurrency has been intriguing over the last few months, to say the least.
In mid-August, a U.S. Federal Court permitted a defendant to pay bail with Bitcoin.
In April, a firm made headlines after purchasing a cryptocurrency tracking application developed by a 16-year old girl in India.
It is evident that residents and businesses in the state are expressing interest in blockchain and different virtual currencies, and legislators certainly have taken note.
One piece of legislation that focuses on blockchain is heading to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown for a signature, and another seems to be right behind it.
State-Level Scrutiny of Blockchain
One bill, known as Assembly Bill 2658, cleared the California Assembly on August 27th is now heading to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown.
If signed by September 30th, then a blockchain working group must be created by July 1st, 2019.
The group will be tasked with researching blockchain’s benefits, risks, and legal implications for state governments and the private sector. It would be made up of 13 appointees, a member from California’s Senate and Assembly, and a few other top state officials.
Members would be required to share their findings with California’s Legislature by July 1st, 2020.
This legislation was originally authored by Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon. According to him, the state needs to get people to develop around blockchain to keep California as a “global leader in fostering innovation and new technology.”
Overall, Assembly Leader Calderon thinks it is in the state’s best interest to “encourage innovation with an investment in blockchain technology.”
Assembly Bill 2658 is also the first time blockchain technology has been defined. It says blockchain is a “a mathematically secured, chronological, and decentralized ledger or database.”
Assembly Leader Calderon’s office noted how a definition helps the industry get a better idea about blockchain’s legal standing.
Another Pertinent Blockchain Bill
Another piece of legislation focused on blockchain is Senate Bill 838. According to the bill’s history, the legislation was ordered to engrossing and enrolling on August 31st.
The California legislative process says bills are sent through the engrossing and enrolling process once they are passed by both Legislative houses, but before they reach the Governor’s desk.
If the legislation is signed, SB 838 would allow corporations in California to “issue and transfer stock on a blockchain.”
State Senator Robert Hertzberg authored the legislation to try and “offer some vision and some willingness to take risks on future facing ideas.”
As the legislative session ended on Friday, many are watching to see what Governor Brown will do with a swath of legislation on his desk.
Some believe he could significantly reshape the state depending on what pieces he chooses to sign, and ignore.
Otherwise, blockchain has started to make its way into the legislative halls of other places in the United States.
Congressman Jared Polis (D-Colorado) has been adding proposals about blockchain to his political platform as he campaigns for governor. Polis, along with David Schweikert (R-Arizona) are also spearheading the nation’s Congressional Blockchain Congress.
Do you think these two pieces of legislation should be signed into law? Let us know in the comments!
Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives.
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