Reworked Ohio DLT Bill Passed by Governor
In May of 2018, Matt Dolan, Ohio State Senator proposed a bill as a means of legally clarifying blockchain signatures and smart contracts. Instead of the bill being passed, it was integrated into a prior bill named SB220, an official passed law involving cybersecurity. The previous bill was approved by the Senate and the House and up until the 3rd of August when the proposal was finally signed.
The latest bill
Senator Dolan and his proposed SB300 bill would have contributed to five significant reworks to the current state law. Blockchain-tech and digital contracts would have received their classification. Additionally, all user rights placed on a blockchain by individuals would be fully retained by the rightful owners and any digital signatures confirmed via blockchain would acquire their validation.
During an interview in July, the Senator commented on a possible “shaving” of the proposed bill. Only two of the intended changes proposed were successful, although introduced as amendments to the previous bill instead of pulling through on their own. The other three failed to make the transition and were rejected alongside SB300.
As per the language that made it through, statements said that any record or contract acquired through blockchain-tech is officially valid. Additionally, electronic signatures acquired in the same manner will also be validated. Both surviving sections of the proposal would alter the current UETA-like version in the state, as the UETA has been accepted and complied with by almost every state in the US. The law passing was made as a means of ensuring the same acceptance of digital transactions as physical ones.
Many states have also been making additional developments to their own UETA to legally classify blockchain transactions although several questions have risen as to whether classifying the technology was required. Even though new laws like this could possibly reduce legal action against digital contracts, confirmation and the deeming of a DLT contract and digital signatures as official ones is quite clear. The Senator has also confirmed his intentions of turning Ohio into a more appealing source of business for all parties.
Following a statement on SB220, he stressed on the fact that it was his mission to turn Ohio into a central hub for blockchain-tech, similar to Silicon Valley and where each participant will contribute to blockchain in terms of development and growth.