On Wednesday, government officials in Wyoming filed a bill that would allow companies to issue tokenized stock certificates on a blockchain platform.
Representative Jared Olsen, along with five other representatives and two senators, filed House Bill 0185, dubbed "Corporate stock-certificate tokens." If passed, it would amend an existing law to allow the use of tokenized digital share certificates, which are typically issued in paper form.
A stock certificate, also called a share certificate, is usually a written document signed by the corporation issuing the stock. It provides legal proof that the shareholder does indeed own the number of shares specified on the certificate.
The proposed bill would allow companies to digitize stock certificates and store them on a "blockchain or other secure, auditable database." According to the bill, once that data is uploaded to an "auditable database," all participants – including the issuing corporation, the person who owns the certificate, and "any transferee" – will have access to the data. The certificates will be authorized and signed "with network signatures" by two officers designated by the board of directors or as otherwise specified in the bylaws. If passed, the law will take effect on July 1, 2019.
Wyoming's government has proactively developed legislation for digital assets in the past year. In March 2018, the Wyoming legislature passed five bills concerning blockchain and cryptocurrency technology. Last October, Wyoming state officials formed a task force to draft legislation to allow for the development of a bank-like financial institution that supports blockchain companies in the state.