California Bill to legally acknowledge blockchain stocks
California could join Delaware and Wyoming as the next U.S. state that authorizes companies to store data - including information about stockholders - on a blockchain.
Bill 838 was first proposed by Senator Robert Hertzberg in January 2018 although public filings note that the measure has gathered momentum in recent days. The State Senate's Banking and Financial Institutions Committee referred the bill to the Judiciary Committee on April 18 after pushing it with a "do pass" recommendation.
If Judiciary Committee gives a go ahead then, the full Senate will vote on the measure, which would legally acknowledge information about a company's stocks, including ownership, stored on a blockchain. The updated version of the bill would permit "records administered by or on behalf of the corporation in which the names of all of the corporation's stockholders of record, the address and number of shares registered in the name of each of those stockholders, and all issuances and transfers of stock of the corporation to be recorded and kept on or by means of blockchain technology or one or more distributed electronic networks."
In a statement, Hertzberg said the bill is part of a move to help his state keep up with evolving financial technology, explaining: "The world around us is changing, and government must adapt with these rapidly evolving times. California needs to continue our legacy of taking on new and developing technologies, especially ones like blockchain, which is being embraced worldwide and presents a strong level of security that is resistant to hacking."
If California Bill gets approval, then the state would follow Delaware and Wyoming in permitting companies to use the tech for administrative purposes. California's proposed law includes several obligations, declaring that the data must be competent of being "converted into clearly legible paper within a reasonable period of time," and that the records can be used to store information stock certificates already contain, according to the text.
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