Vermont Officials Emphasize Importance of Blockchain Innovation

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From left to right: David Thelander, Gravel & Shea; Natalia Karayaneva, Propy; Vermont Governor Phil Scott; Kate Purcell, 360 Consulting; Eva Cildermane, Propy.

Members of Gravel & Shea’s blockchain technology group attended the Governor’s ceremonial bill signing for S.269 (now Act 205), An Act Related to Blockchain Business Development, on August 29.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott officially signed the bill into law on May 30, 2018, but the State scheduled an additional signing ceremony in South Burlington in recognition both of the bill’s significance and of the crucial role the city has played in advancing blockchain activity by hosting the first U.S. real estate transaction completed entirely in blockchain.

“Innovations in the financial services industry are the source of tremendous economic progress and growth,” said Governor Scott. “The financial industry is poised for even greater innovation and progress with blockchain technology.” He told the assembled crowd that we cannot just sit on the sidelines, that Vermont must remain a leader. The Governor, along with others, provided special thanks to Oliver Goodenough, Special Counsel at Gravel & Shea, for his critical role in bringing the law to fruition.

Governor Scott emphasized the importance of both primary elements of the blockchain law: the creation of Personal Information Protection Companies helping to both protect sensitive personal data and promote economic activity; and the creation of blockchain-based LLCs providing legal structure and certainty to entrepreneurs in the blockchain space.

The Governor highlighted Gravel & Shea client Propy’s role in moving the blockchain ball forward in Vermont, giving Natalia Karayaneva, the company’s Founder and CEO, one of the pens used in the signing. Propy is the international real estate marketplace and title registry company that facilitated the blockchain-based South Burlington real estate transaction.

Karayaneva thanked Vermont for creating the bill and for making the State a “pioneer in the world” and a “haven” for blockchain companies. She emphasized how valuable the certainty associated with the creation of blockchain-based LLCs will be for new blockchain companies, sharing that legal uncertainty in the United States has made it difficult at times for her own business to move forward. And she thanked Gravel & Shea for helping the company to complete the transaction in compliance with local laws.

Gravel & Shea’s Blockchain Technology group specializes in analyzing and resolving legal issues related to blockchain technology.