Rep. David Schweikert, a co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, has introduced a bill recognizing blockchain-generated digital signatures as legitimate and enforceable under federal law.

Digital signatures used to sign legal documents in highly regulated industries digitally have been accepted as equally legally binding and legitimate as traditional signatures written with ink on paper 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.

Introduced on October 2nd by Rep. Schweikert to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, H.R 8524 aims to amend the new e-signature bill to include digital signatures generated 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 statute that discusses the enforceability of a smart contract. Smart contracts must depend, just like any contract, on various state laws to be kept enforceable.

H.R 8524 would include a standardized regulatory structure when signed into law that enforces a smart contract’s legal impact and contractual existence across state boundaries.

Rep. Schweikert also introduced the 2020 Digital Commodity Exchange Act on September 24, which will create a single, opt-in national regulatory structure under the Commodity Futures Trading Commission ( CFTC) for digital commodity trading platforms. Laws must provide digital markets with regulatory transparency to improve consumer safety, says Rep. Schweikert.


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