Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed the bill into law on Thursday March 22nd making Tennessee one of a growing number of U.S. states to recognize the genius behind blockchain.
The measure which became Senate Bill 1662 was introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers in January and flew through both chambers with an unanimous sign off. Only minor amendments were made to the bill giving better description to what defines signatures, blockchain and smart contract technologies.
As introduced, recognizes the legal authority to use blockchain technology and smart contracts in conducting electronic transactions; protects ownership rights of certain information secured by blockchain technology. - Amends TCA Title 12; Title 47; Title 48; Title 61 and Title 66.
This amendment to the state code states that smart contracts and blockchain are recognized as being binding as any other official form of agreement. It reads in part that "no contract relating to a transaction shall be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because that contract contains a smart contract term."
More importantly, the new law legally defines blockchain, smart contracts and what a signature is.
For example, blockchain technology is defined as:
any distributed ledger protocol and supporting infrastructure, including blockchain, that uses a distributed, decentralized, shared, and replicated ledger, whether it be public or private, permissioned or permissionless, and which may include the use of electronic currencies or electronic tokens as a medium of electronic exchange.
Tennessee lawmakers agreed that the need for such technology in regards to advancing scientific research, commerce and industry is important for the state with the many industries it has attracted in recent years. This latest act makes them the latest to add blockchain-related laws following Arizona, Delaware, Illinois, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington.