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Vermont Passes Landmark Blockchain Legislation

Thursday, June 21, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jeff Couture
Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed S.269, An Act Related to Blockchain Business Development on May 30. This new law further solidifies Vermont’s position as a tech innovation leader by implementing initiatives aimed at supporting blockchain technology within the State.

Vermont Technology Alliance member Gravel & Shea was part of the Vermont Bar Association committee that helped bring this bill to life.

“Businesses using blockchain technology are undergoing a huge expansion. Legal structures reflecting these new ways of doing business need to be developed,” said Gravel & Shea shareholder Peter Erly. “Vermont is in the forefront of states implementing innovative blockchain legislation. We at Gravel & Shea believe that it is very important to do everything we can to support the efforts of our Legislature in this area.”

David Thelander, Gravel & Shea’s FinTech practice group leader said, “We were pleased to work closely with Governor Scott’s Administration and the legislative branches to assist in drafting language tailored to providing value to blockchain companies, while protecting consumers and promoting investment and job creation in Vermont.”

The law creates two completely new types of business entities—a blockchain-based limited liability company (“BBLLC”) and a personal information protection company (“PIPC”). These additions to Vermont’s business laws create assurances for both businesses and consumers.

This law allows blockchain companies to protect owners, managers and blockchain participants from unwarranted liability by forming BBLLCs. It also gives blockchain companies an enforceable legal framework to create custom blockchain governance structures that perfectly fit their unique technology and circumstances.

The law also creates a legal structure that appeals to companies handling personal information by offering assurances to both consumers and third parties engaged with a PIPC. PIPCs are now required to elevate the interests of consumers providing public information above their own interests. Vermont’s law creates a new framework where individuals providing information to PIPCs have assurances through statute and regulation as to the proper use of their personal information.

“We’ve appreciated the opportunity to facilitate introductions of blockchain company leaders to Vermont officials, who are keen to learn more about this innovative technology,” said Thelander. “And we congratulate Governor Scott, his Administration and the Legislature in enacting this important legislation. It continues to reinforce Vermont’s position as a blockchain innovation leader in the U.S.”

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