According to an official statement by the Senato della Repubblica, an amendment on blockchain industry regulation has been approved by two Italian senate committees, the Committee of Constitutional Affairs and the Committee of Public Works. This is the first time the Italian government has made any regulatory moves that are specific to the blockchain industry. The amendment is known as the “Decreto Semplificazioni”, and provides definitions for two blockchain industry terms – ‘distributed ledger technology’ and ‘smart contract’.
The amendment will now need the approval of two Italian Parliament bodies, the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Republic.
The document states that blockchain-powered data records can be used to legally timestamp and validate documents. Additionally, the “Agency for Digital Italy” must identify the technical standards that the technologies based on distributed ledgers must possess in order for documents to be validated on them, these standards must be established within 90 days of the official approval of the amendment, and that a blockchain digital data record will enable a legal validation of documents at the time of registration.
Lawyer Speaks On Italian Blockchain Regulation
Marco Scialdone, a lawyer and professor at the European University of Rome, said: “It is an important step that Italy recognizes the full legal validity of the transactions carried out on these distributed registers and the ability of smart contracts to satisfy the requirements of the written form”. He continued: “We will have contracts that will be concluded and executed directly by machines on the basis of what is written in their computer code and the order will recognize full value”.
Italy is no stranger to the crypto space. In December 2018, the government published a list of 30 of its highest-ranking blockchain experts who will provide free advice to authorities on “national strategy on distributed register and blockchain technologies”.
In addition, the country joined a group of seven EU member states that adopted a declaration supporting the promotion of blockchain technology application. The declaration was initiated by Malta and signed by France, Cyprus, Italy, Greece, Portugal and Spain. All parties agreed that decentralized ledger technology has the tendency to be a game changer for southern European countries.