Assemblyman Clyde Vanel proposed four new bills in effort to establish legal background of blockchain and study the possible implementation of blockchain protocol in state affairs.
The first bill is centered around legal definition of blockchain and smart contracts. It alows to update New York's technology law to legally recognize blockchain and its digital signatures.
The second bill establishes a research project for state board of elections into possible usage of blockchain technology in protection of voter records and election results. A year is given to make a report whether the platform can prevent or lessen the amount of voter fraud, improve the security on digital voting platforms and more efficiently count and share voting results.
The third bill would, if passed, also create a research team looking into possibility of government using blockchain to securely store records and quickly exchange information. This was already tried in Vermont in 2016, but wasn't approved by local authorities. At least one public hearing would be held during the study.
The fourth bill is proposing the creation of a special digital currency task force to evaluate the impact of cryptocurrencies on New York financial sector.
Similar efforts were made in Arizona earlier this year and in Vermont in 2016. Vermont government in the end declared the cost of blockchain implementation too high to consider any possible benefits. Arizona, in turn, passed the law and updated its Electronic Transaction Act making blockchain signature equal in force to electronic signature and blockchain-driven smart contracts to be legally binding as any other electronic contract.