August 07, 2018 09:41:24
Ohio Governor John Kasich signed on Friday a bill that sets a legal framework for the use of blockchain, making the state one of the first in the US to officially recognize the use of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) in various industries, including financial services, real estate, supply chain management, and healthcare.
It is not the first attempt to give blockchain a legal context. In May this year, Ohio Senator Matt Dolan proposed another bill SB300, but it failed to advance in the state legislature. However, parts of that bill were used as amendments in the new SB220 bill, which has been already voted on August 3.
The adopted bill determines the definitions of electronic records and electronic signature:
- “Electronic record” means a record created, generated, sent, communicated, received, or stored by electronic means. A record or contract that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be in an electronic form and to be an electronic record.
- “Electronic signature” means an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record. A signature that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be in an electronic form and to be an electronic signature.
Valentina Isakina, financial services managing director of JobsOhio, a private economic development agency, revealed that the state will become more attractive for blockchain-oriented companies thanks to the new law. Now the startups and innovators can focus on creating new applications and products that leverage DLT, especially in the financial industry.
Blockchain adoption in the financial market is relevant for Ohio given that the state boasts the fifth-largest financial services market in the US. Ohio is also the place where many banks and insurance firms choose to be headquartered, coming second only to New York in this context. The state has about 270,000 employees in the industry, an indicator that is similar to New York’s and larger than the city of London’s.