Washington State Recognizes Validity of Blockchain Tech in New Bill

By Debarun Gupta

The State Senate of the State of Washington has introduced bill SB 5638 which recognizes the validity of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and tries to provide a legal framework for Blockchain tech that was missing until now.

Announced on January 28, the new bill will provide regulations and legal structure to the cryptocurrency industry in the state.

Cryptocurrencies have had mixed reception from people across the world and as such, they have been accepted with open arms in some places while immediately banned in others. As such, “crypto hotspots” have formed in many supposed “safe havens” across the world, including Washington State in the US, where low electricity prices and a welcoming government made it a promised land for crypto miners and blockchain companies.

With the introduction of the new bill, the state is moving forward with its plan to further encourage the development of DLT and Blockchain technology. According to the Washington State Legislature, the Washington State Senate introduced SB 5638, an act “relating to the recognizing the validity of distributed ledger technology.” The bill, introduced on January 25, 2019, will reportedly amend and add to an act that is already in the state law.

According to the text of the new bill, it is evident that it aims to codify the Blockchain-enabled digital signatures and licenses, as well as provide the legal framework needed to enforce the newly implemented standards.

The new bill was created as a revision of the “Washington Electronic Authentication Act,” an act passed back in 1994. The purpose of the original bill was to ensure that “electronic signatures,” which was a relatively new phenomenon then, were not denied legal recognition.

While there have been many amendments to the original act in this bill, the most important change by far is the addition of the Blockchain sector to the list of things protected by the act. The bill also added two new definitions for the terms “Blockchain” and “Distributed Ledger Technology” – an important step forward in favourable legislation for the industry.

Despite the fact that Democrats control both houses of the Washington State Legislature, the bill is sponsored by four Republican State Senators. According to the Legislature’s official website, Senators Sharon Brown, Ann Rivers, Randi Becker, and Shelly Short have all backed the bill, which has completed its first reading as of January 28, 2019.

However, it must be noted that while the bill itself will not bring about any meaningful change tot he crypto industry unless it has been passed into law, it marks an important step for the cryptocurrency industry in the US – recognition.

Debarun Gupta

Debarun is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and writing when he’s not watching cat videos on YouTube.

Related Posts