Arizona Governor Doug Ducey this week signed into law a measure that officially recognizes blockchain signatures and contracts. The bill had been passed by the Senate on March 23, and was signed by the Governor six days later. The bill, HB 2417, had been passed by the Arizona House of Representatives in February, 59-0, and enjoyed near unanimous support in the Senate as well.
The new law clarifies the state’s position on blockchain signatures and so-called smart contracts by legally defining them as signatures and contracts in electronic format. As a result, the measure represents a clear attempt by legislators to ensure that blockchain-related data is covered by existing laws and regulations governing electronic records.
The language of the new statute ensures that:
“A. A signature that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be in an electronic form and to be an electronic signature.
B. A record or contract that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be in an electronic form and to be an electronic record.”
The law also provides for the retention of ownership rights for those who secure information using blockchain technology:
“Notwithstanding any other law, a person that, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, uses blockchain technology to secure information that the person owns or has the right to use retains the same rights of ownership or use with respect to that information as before the person secured the information using blockchain technology. This subsection does not apply to the use of blockchain technology to secure information in connection with a transaction to the extent that the terms of the transaction expressly provide for the transfer of rights of ownership or use with respect to that information.”