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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Illinois creates Blockchain Technology Act

State Issues Digital Assets State Legislation Fintech Blockchain

State Issues

On August 23, the Illinois governor signed HB 3575 to create the Blockchain Technology Act. Under the Act, “blockchain” is defined as “an electronic record created by the use of a decentralized method by multiple parties to verify and store a digital record of transactions which is secured by the use of a cryptographic hash of previous transaction information.” Among other things, the Act specifies permitted uses of blockchain technology in transactions and proceedings, such as in smart contracts, electronic records and signatures, and provides several limitations, including a provision stipulating that if a law requires a contract or record to be in writing, the legal enforceability may be denied if the blockchain transaction cannot later be accurately reproduced for all parties. Moreover, local government units are prohibited from imposing taxes or fees for the use of blockchain technology, and cannot require a person or entity to obtain a certificate, license, or permit in order to use a blockchain or smart contract. HB 3575 takes effect January 1, 2020.

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