Maryland Creates New Law To Allow Blockchain Record Keeping by Corporations

On April 30, Maryland’s Governor signed into law a bill that amended the state’s General Corporation Law to enable the use of blockchain technology by private corporations in their record keeping.

The law explicitly mentions the use of “distributed electronic network or database” to record various types of data including:

  • Stock ledgers (to include the name, address, and number of shares of each stockholder)
  • Records of issuances, transfers, and cancellations of shares of stock
  • Voting trust agreements
  • Bylaws
  • Minutes of the proceedings of the stockholders
  • Annual statements of affairs

Another major aspect of the bill is that it allows corporations to either “maintain, or cause to be maintained on its behalf”, while the previous law required corporations to each maintain their own records and data. The law specifies that the corporation must still “convert a record maintained in a certain manner [including a distributed electronic network or database] into a clearly legible written form on request of a certain person”.

Blockchain technology receiving more considerations to improve corporate governance

This favorable blockchain law recalls other similar laws and bills going through other states such as Wyoming which recently passed a resolution that makes the “law recognizes property rights in the direct ownership of digital assets”, blockchain-based stock certificates, and improving blockchain-based banking laws. Another U.S. state, Arizona, has also been pushing cryptocurrency and blockchain friendly bills and laws. Even Rhode Island is pushing bills that would exempt cryptocurrencies from security laws and regulations, which would better allow cryptocurrencies to be used as currency.

More state legislators are advocating for laws that would allow blockchains and cryptocurrencies to be more easily used as currency by consumers and merchants, as well as better record keeping mechanisms because of the immutability attributes. One major…

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