Companies Can Put Shareholders on a Blockchain Starting Today
Blockchain got a big boost on Tuesday when a Delaware law went into effect that lets corporations maintain shareholder lists, along with other corporate records, using the technology. Already, several companies, including the retailer Overstock, say they intend to use it.
Delaware’s decision to bless blockchain—which is a type of software that creates indelible records across multiple computers—is significant because the state is America’s de facto corporate law capital, and more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies are incorporated there.
According to lawyers and state officials, the new law ensures companies will not face legal trouble if they choose to keep a list of shareholder names, which they must do by law, on a blockchain instead of conventional methods like an Excel spreadsheet or a SQL database.