An Italian Senate Committee has approved the country’s first piece of blockchain legislation which could pave the way for widespread use of the technology to improve the provision of government services.
The legislation also provides the private sector with a clear legal framework for employing blockchain technology and smart contracts in their operations within the country.
The “Decreto Semplificazioni”, which amends several aspects of a previously proposed framework, was approved by the Italian Senate Committee of Constitutional Affairs and Public Works on January 23.
The legislation contains a range of legal stipulations that clarify the Italian government’s definition of cryptocurrencies, as well as other terms related to blockchain technology.
This is the first approval of its kind in the country and will now pass to the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Republic for approval, which if granted, will make amendment legally binding.
Driving the legislation forward is the hope that blockchain technology could provide tools and solutions that could widely benefit various government sectors by increasing transparency and accountability.
Once the legislation comes into effect, the Italian government will be able to utilise blockchain technology to verify the time at which documents and contracts made in the country are registered.
This latest development follows the establishment of a joint initiative between Italy and several other Southern European countries, aimed at promoting the adoption of blockchain technologies in both the public and private sectors.
Seven Southern EU states (France, Italy, Spain, Malta, Cyprus, Portugal and Greece) signed a joint declaration in Brussels on December 4 last year outlining their goal to promote the adoption blockchain technology in order to “transform” their economies with a “forward-looking vision to make Southern Europe a leader on emerging technologies”.
“We believe that Distributed Ledger Technologies could be one of the instruments that can help our countries transform their economies and society into truly digital ones and become a leading region in this sector,” said a statement announcing the joint declaration.