According to Cointelegraph's May 2 report, Washington State has just passed a bill that recognizes and protects the legal status of electronic records associated with distributed ledgers such as blockchains.
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On April 27 this year, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee signed the Alternative Senate Bill 5638. The original version of the bill was first read by the Washington State Legislature on January 25, 2019, and was subsequently passed with 96 votes in favor and 1 vote against it. The bill will eventually come into effect at the end of July.
This latest new law has a clause that deals with the prevention of discrimination against electronic records (some of which are part of a distributed ledger):
Do not rely on the use of distributed ledger technology to generate, transmit, receive, or store electronic records without the legal validity, validity, or enforceability.
The Act also provides a legal definition of terms such as “blockchain” and “distributed ledger”.
Cointelegraph also previously reported on a recent bill proposed by Ohio, which is also related to the use of distributed ledgers. The Ohio House of Representatives Bill 220 is designed to allow the Ohio government to implement blockchain-assisted solutions. For example, blockchain allows state governments to track and share information such as car names and licenses at any time.
In addition, the Tennessee State Assembly took similar action in March 2018, and Governor Bill Haslam signed a bill that, according to the abstract, “recognizes the legal authority of blockchain technology and smart contracts in electronic transactions.”