Arizona just advanced its ranking among blockchain-friendly states, bringing corporations one step closer to submitting all of their data on distributed ledger technology.
Governor Doug Ducey has signed House Bill 2603, or the Corporations/Blockchain Technology bill, as an amendment to the Arizona Revised Statutes, which already supports “signatures and records secured through blockchain technology and smart contracts.” With the amendment, data that’s stored and shared by corporations on the blockchain also becomes valid.
Arizona’s blockchain bill was first introduced to the House in February and passed the State Legislature in a matter of weeks. HB 2603 received strong support from lawmakers, including unanimous support from the Senate and only a handful of “nay” votes in the House. The bill was transmitted to Governor Ducey’s desk in late March, where he signed it into law on April 3.
“The goal is to allow in a couple years for corporations to submit their records on a blockchain,” Representative Jeff Weninger, the sponsor of the bill and a champion for blockchain innovation in the state, told a local news publication.
Last year at about this time, Rep. Weninger introduced the law that recognized blockchain-fueled signatures and smart contracts as valid, which really set in motion the innovation that would follow from policymakers looking to catapult their state as a hotbed for innovation.
Another Weninger bill is the Running Nodes/Blockchain/Regulation Prohibition act, which would block cities from preventing an individual “from running a node on blockchain technology in a residence,” or cryptocurrency mining. Rather, he believes it’s a decision that should be made at the state level.
Meanwhile, northwest of Arizona in Washington, the pendulum is swinging to the other side, where local policymakers have placed a moratorium on bitcoin mining applications for the time being.
Arizona and Fintech
The Southwestern state has taken a leadership position with blockchain, and they have more innovation ahead. Rep. Weninger is co-sponsoring a bill to allow tax payments in bitcoin. The tax bill is taking a bit longer to make its way through the Legislature, but it could be a model for other states to adopt if it passes.
The state is looking to fintech more broadly to bolster the economy, as evidenced by the fintech regulatory sandbox that became a reality last month. It gives entrepreneurs the ability to come to the state and focus on testing their products without the cumbersome legal regulatory fees and expenses that typically accompany innovation.