Florida Bill To Recognize Blockchain Smart Contracts

New bill would create a legal foundation for blockchain data and smart contracts in the U.S. state
11 January 2018   354

A lawmaker in Florida has introduced a bill on December 9 that, if passed, would create a legal foundation for blockchain data and smart contracts in the U.S. state.

House Bill 1357 presented multiple stipulations that blockchain and smart contracts be treated as legally-binding methods of data storage — provided that such measures do not break any pre-existing laws or regulations.

The bill also states that a record or contract that is secured through blockchain technology is in an electronic form and is an electronic record and confirms that a signature recorded through a blockchain also qualifies as a valid electronic signature.

A contract may not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because: an electronic record was used in the formation of the contract and the contract contains a smart contract term.

 

House Bill 1357

Last year, Arizona passed a similar measure, with identical notes on confirming blockchain records as electronic records, as well as giving smart contracts legal force. We have also reported that Senator Alison Clarkson (D) from Vermont has proposed legislation that outlines a use case for government-based cryptocurrency solutions.

German Financial Regulator Clarifies Stance on ICOs

The Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) has clarified its position on ICOs
22 February 2018   53

German financial regulator admitted it was receiving many inquiries about the status of tokens and cryptocurrencies. According to an advisory letter, BaFin provides some basic definitions of ICOs and related terms. It is important because the results of a new survey showed that more than two-thirds of Germans know about bitcoin.

In this letter, BaFin educates the public and explains how tokens are typically generated, how blockchain works and that ICOs are used to raise funds for startup projects. The note states that for regulatory purposes, ICOs, tokens, coins, and cryptocurrencies are subject to the existing provisions in the field of securities supervision and other relevant national and EU laws.

The authority advises participants in ICOs to check and follow rules applicable to regulated financial instruments, such as securities. If businesses or individuals have any doubts about regulations, they should approach BaFin.

According to BaFin, companies should fulfill any obligations under the Banking Act and the Capital Investment Code, the Insurance Supervision Act and the Payment Services Supervision Act. The transactions may be prohibited if relevant regulatory requirements are not met.

The authority also states that legal classification of tokens requires precise examination. It will determine their status on a case-by-case basis after studying their features. The token should be transferable and tradable on cryptocurrency trading platforms in order to be classified as a security.