Italy approves Simplification Decree
Law will acknowledge smart contracts in the digital format as being equal to contracts in writing
The Italian Chamber of Deputies has approved the Simplifications Decree, making it the first country in the world to give legal value to technologies based smart contracts or DLT.
The law will allow for a computer document recorded on a blockchain to be legally recognised and to give legal value to electronic time validation, thus simplifying the process of things like certifying a copyrighted work or framing a rental contract.
As the Chamber’s Budget Service dossier clarifies , “this last rule establishes that the temporary legal validation cannot be denied the legal effects and the admissibility as evidence in court proceedings for the sole reason of its electronic form or because it does not meets the requirements of qualified electronic temporary validation. It is also envisaged that a qualified electronic time validation enjoys the presumption of accuracy of the date and time indicating and integrity of the data to which this date and time are associated. Finally, it is established that an electronic time validation issued in a Member State is recognized as a qualified electronic time validation in all Member States “.
The Agenzia per l’Italia Digitale (AgID) will be responsible for identifying the technical standards that these technologies must have in order to be defined as such and are likely to do so in the next three months. So, although these definitions are now to be considered State law, they will not be applicable until technical definitions are set.
The provision was originally introduced with an amendment in the commissions on constitutional affairs and public works of the Senate by Stefano Patuanelli (M5S).