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Florida Recognizing Blockchain Signatures and Smart Contracts?

Wed Jan 17, 2018 by on Florida Law News

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As we discussed in a prior blog, cryptocurrency is already changing the real estate market. Now, Florida lawmakers have introduced a bill recognizing blockchain signature and smart contracts. This follows a growing trend, as Arizona and Vermont also recently approved similar bills making blockchain data admissible in court.

The Impact of Smart Contracts and Blockchains

Despite the rapid and growing adoption of blockchain technology across all fields, lawmakers acknowledge that legal recognition is more “symbolic for now, as blockchain technology is still in its infancy.” House Bill 1357 establishes a foundation for blockchain ledgers and smart contracts to be treated as legally-binding methods of data storage. Specifically, the bill states that a “record or contract that is secured through blockchain technology is in an electronic form and is an electronic record.” The bill also confirms that signatures recorded through the blockchain would qualify as a valid electronic signature. While the House Bill currently relates to the essence of a smart contract, the use of digital currencies such as Bitcoin are being used for all types of contracts, including real estate.

What Does This All Mean?

Simply put, Florida may join a growing number of states that will allow for, and validate, contractual obligations conducted on the blockchain. While many of us may not understand or believe that blockchain technology is the future, it is apparent that such technology is here to stay. At Oppenheim Law, we are able to assist in guiding you through the implications of how this technology will affect you and your business, as understanding your contractual rights and remedies in this developing area of law is just as essential as using the technology to your benefit. This technology is a huge disrupter, and the more that you know, the better you will be prepared.

From the trenches,

Roy Oppenheim

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