Bill number 2658 from the California legislature looks like it is on the way to Governor Jerry Brown. The California blockchain bill began in 2016, as “A record that is secured through blockchain technology is an electronic record.” The California blockchain bill seems to have moved though the Senate and General Assembly with overwhelming support.
The version of the California blockchain bill that passed on Monday directs the Secretary of the Government Operations Agency to create a blockchain working group to study blockchain, and how it could be used in the State of California.
The California blockchain bill that is now headed to the last stage in the legal process also added that “For the purpose of this chapter, ‘blockchain’ means a mathematically secured, chronological, and decentralized ledger or database.” That definition is set to expire in early 2022, but for the moment, blockchain is close to having a clearly defined legal status in California.
California blockchain development is happening
California has long been at the center of US computer technology. Silicon Valley has been a global leader in technological development for decades. Now California blockchain legislation could help California stay on the cutting edge of next-generation tech development.
While blockchain development projects have been popular over the last year, they have been limited by commercial viability. Regulations in the US have been slow to adapt to revolutionary new technology. The California blockchain bill seeks to cement, “The best practices for enabling blockchain technology to benefit the State of California, California-based businesses and California residents.”
A recent report from PwC cited regulatory uncertainty as a major impediment for blockchain adoption. The California blockchain bill is a step in the right direction, but it probably isn’t enough to ensure that California can compete with an Asian center like Hong Kong. The wealthy island recently added blockchain development skills to a residency program that allows immigration without the sponsorship of an employer.
A global market
The California blockchain bill isn’t alone in the world of blockchain legislation. Canada is on the cusp of finalizing a comprehensive body of legislation that would cover both cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. While the legislation appears to be in limbo during Canadian election season, they are still ahead of their neighbor to the South.
The changes that blockchain technology could usher in are potentially global in scope. National regulations are a very difficult problem for developers in areas that are lagging in an effective regulatory effort. There aren’t likely to be thousands of successful platforms for a handful of multi-billion dollar applications, which is a point that may be lost on slow-moving bureaucracies.
Nicholas Say was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has traveled extensively, lived in Uruguay for many years, and currently resides in the Far East. His writing can be found all over the web, with special emphasis placed on realistic development, and the next generation of human technology.