Congressional Blockchain Caucus co-chair Rep. David Schweikert has introduced a bill that will recognize digital signatures created through blockchain as valid and enforceable under federal law.
Since the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, also known as “the e-signature bill,” was signed into law in October of 2000, digital signatures used to remotely sign legal documents in heavily regulated industries have been recognized as equally legally binding and valid as traditional signatures written with ink on paper.
Introduced to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on October 2nd by Rep. Schweikert, H.R 8524 seeks to modify the current e-signature bill to include digital signatures created on blockchain platforms.
“To amend the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act to clarify the applicability of such Act to electronic records, electronic signatures, and smart contracts created, stored, or secured on or through a blockchain, to provide uniform national standards regarding the legal effect, validity, and enforceability of such records, signatures, and contracts, and for other purposes.”
According to Harvard Law, there is currently no federal law that addresses the enforceability of a smart contract. Just like any contract, smart contracts must rely on different state laws to be held enforceable.
If signed into law, the H.R 8524 will provide a uniform statutory framework that enforces the legal effect and binding nature of a smart contract across state borders.
On September 24th, Rep. Schweikert also introduced the Digital Commodity Exchange Act of 2020 that will create “a single, opt-in national regulatory framework for digital commodity trading platforms under the jurisdiction of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).” Laws must provide regulatory clarity to digital markets to enhance consumer protection, says Rep. Schweikert.
“This bill is a great step in the right direction for continuing to update and future-proof our federal policy, and I am pleased to join my colleagues in working to strengthen our regulation framework and fill the regulatory gaps that currently exist.”
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