Vermont blockchain law

Verification and authentication are two of the benefits you get with BlockNotary products, because theyre blockchain enabled. And now that governments are recognizing the blockchain, BlockNotary and its technology can even help in legal situations.

The Law in Vermont

A recent legal review of BlockNotary’s End User Licensing Agreement (EULA) by Gravel & Shea of Burlington, Vermont, USA, notes how the software coincides with the State of Vermont’s H.868 (Act 157), an act relating to miscellaneous economic development provisions, which includes a section on blockchain technology and its use for authenticity for records. The law went into effect on July 1, 2016.

The new law takes advantage of the blockchain’s ability to confirm that information transferred to it is authentic. In the legal system of the US and other countries, a document or record must first be authenticated before it is introduced into a legal proceeding, according to the rules of evidence. In other words, a party that wants to introduce a record as evidence must first demonstrate that the record is what it appears to be. For example, in order to propose that an email be admitted as evidence, the sender may testify to verify that she or he sent the email. When large volumes ofemail or other pieces of data exist, this approach can prove difficult. The new Vermont law presumes that documents written to the blockchain are authentic. As long as verification can be obtained as to the date and time of recording of information in the blockchain AND such information is entered as a regular practice, the information qualifies as a self-authenticating record and regularly maintained business record for purposes of any legal proceeding in a Vermont court. As a result, information recorded to the blockchain can then be presumed to be accurate for purposes such as:
A. determining contractual parties, contractual provisions, and the execution of documents
B. determining the ownership, assignment, negotiation, and transfer of money Importantly, the presumption doesn’t apply to the contents of the record itself. While a document written to the blockchain could be introduced as evidence per the requirements, the contents of the document could be challenged as inaccurate by parties in a legal proceeding.

Who Else Is On Board?

More US states are currently exploring the use of blockchain technology in 2017. Illinois has proposed setting up a task force to look at how to use the technology for record keeping. Hawaii has an initiative to create a work group to study blockchain and virtual currency due to its popular tourism industry. And Arizona is considering legislation stating that smart contracts written on a blockchain are essentially equivalent to all other forms of contracts. It is also quite possible that if the Vermont law succeeds, it will spread to other states.