Italian Senate amends regulations to legalize Blockchain and Smart Contract
The Italian Senate incorporated the concepts of “Distributed Ledger” and “Smart Contracts” into the legal framework of that country, through an amendment approved Wednesday, January 23. The legislative action is the first formal mention of these technologies in the Italian legal system, according to local media.
According to the information, the Senate Constitutional Affairs and Public Works Committees approved the amendment of the Simplification Law Decree to incorporate these concepts. This would be the first step in giving legal value to both digital records based on Blockchain and Smart Contracts in Italy.
The objective is to have “the possibility of giving legal value to transaction that uses a distributed and computerized electronic record, without going through notaries or central certification agency,” said attorney Fulvio Sarzana, a member of the team of experts who participated in the process. As for Smart Contract, the standard “gives a contract automatically executed by an IT program the legal value of a normal, written and signed contract,” explained Sarzana.
The legal text is not limited to defining distributed the Blockchain Technology and Smart Contract. It also notes that these protocols produce the legal effects of other means contemplated in Italian law, such as physical contracts or electronic validation.
The amendment still has to pass through two other instances of the Italian parliament to become law. Once this stage is completed, the Agency for Digital Italy (Agid) will identify, within 90 days, the technical standards applicable to documents based on these technologies.
In September 2018, the Italian government joined the European Blockchain Association after having kept difference in cryptocurrency technology. According to the Minister of Economic Development, Luigi Di Maio, Italy finally joined the association to exchange experiences in the technical and regulatory field.
In this context, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development convened a group of experts in cryptocurrency technology to develop the government strategy in this area, which will be sent to the European Commission. The team started working meetings in January of this year and hopes to complete an agenda of issues including the construction of a normative framework of reference.