Today’s stories are a great illustration of the development of legal business and issues within the blockchain sector. Stories about the development of legislation concepts from both sides of the pond, a Korean law firm holding a blockchain seminar and an article in the Stanford Law Review are amongst the offerings at the beginning of the week.
Title: 4 Blockchain Bills Introduced in New York Legislature
Date: 4 December 2017
A lawmaker in New York has introduced four bills in an effort to spur research into possible uses for blockchain by the state’s government.
The proposed laws from Assemblyman Clyde Vanel (D-33) would establish legal language for the technology (similar to an effort undertaken in Arizona) under state law while also creating studies around its application for local and state elections, including the verification of voter tallies.
The first bill would to add sections to New York’s technology law which define “blockchain technology” and “smart contract,” as well as provide a legal understanding for digital signatures stored on a blockchain.
The second bill “directs the state board of elections to study and evaluate the use of blockchain technology to protect voter records and election results,” according to the text.
It gives this study a year to produce a report explaining whether a blockchain platform can help limit or prevent voter fraud, improve cybersecurity around digital voting platforms, maintain better voter records and more efficiently share election results.
The third bill also calls for a study and the creation of a task force to determine whether a blockchain platform can be used by the state government to store records and share information quickly and efficiently. This particular measure echoes one pursued in Vermont in 2016, though in that case officials ultimately passed on greenlighting such a platform.
The New York bill would require the task force to hold at least one public hearing during its study, with a final report due later than Jan. 1, 2019.
The fourth and final bill would, if passed, create a digital currency task force to determine the impact of cryptocurrencies on New York financial markets.
Title: Korea’s HMP Law to hold blockchain seminar on Dec. 15
Author: The Korea Herald
Date: 3 December 2017
Title: UK House of Lords Advocates Blockchain Technology for Public Sector Services
Date: 1 December 2017
Extract: A paper published by the House of Lords advocates using blockchain technology for a variety of public sector applications. “The UK has already taken a leading role in developing legislative, regulatory and institutional measures that provide a sound legal framework within which DLT development can take place. The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 sets new standards for internet‐related law enforcement, while the Data Protection Bill looks beyond the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to create and protect rights in relation to personal data before and after Brexit. The UK is well‐placed to include DLT as a key component in its digital strategy, yielding benefits for national and individual security,” the paper reads.
Title: Blockchain’s Big Hurdle
Author: Stanford Law Review
Date: November 2017
Extract: Blockchain technology can maintain accurate chains of title to securities and other legal instruments in a reliable electronic form. As private industries begin to recognize the cost-saving and risk-reducing potential of this technology, state legislatures are responding.
Title: Loci, the platform for intellectual property discovery and mining, aims to revolutionize DIY patent research using blockchain technology and newly-created LOCIcoins.
Date: 1 December 2017
John Wise, CEO and founder of Loci, a company seeking to simplify the patent search and invention process, recently presented at World Blockchain Forum London. Loci is one of not so many companies going into their token sale with a market ready product called InnVenn.
Having a background in automotive engineering, John Wise saw the challenges of the current patent process firsthand and, consequently, decided to start Loci to eventually tackle some of the endemic patenting process-connected problems. The tagline in Loci’s whitepaper reads:
Title: California Law Firm Provides Legal Counsel to Crypto Users
Author: The Merkle
Date: 3 December 2017
That situation is finally changing, thanks to law firms such as Taylor-Copeland Law. The company has a dedicated page on its website explaining how blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies will have an impact on our daily lives. However, with the regulatory and legal framework still making it difficult for businesses and individuals to comply with the law, something will need to change.