Michigan Wants to Make it Illegal to Fake Blockchain Data

Michigan Senate Building

Two bills submitted to Michigan’s state legislature seeks to make it a criminal act to alter a blockchain record.

One of the two bills proposed earlier this June by state rep Curt Wanderwall updates the state penal code highlighting the part about those who “makes, alters, forges or counterfeits a public record.” Under the proposed legislation, this part would now also extend to “a person that accomplishes a violation…by altering a record made utilizing distributed ledger technology.”

The proposed legislation does not offer any specific example of what it pertains to, nor is the bill clear on what spurred the proposals.

Another bill submitted this month applies similar changes for credit card-related crime. Like the previously mentioned bill, it also extends the existing definition to cover the technology.

The bill says that:

“‘Financial transaction device’ means any of the following…Any instrument…or other means of access to a credit account or deposit account including through the use of cryptocurrency or distributed ledger technology.”

If the proposed amendments pass, both bills would take effect 90 days after being enacted into law.

Currently, the state of Michigan has no laws or regulations that cover cryptocurrencies.

However, a newsletter from the Michigan Department of Treasury back in November 2015 states that “purchases of virtual currency… are not subject to sales or use tax.”

Additionally, the State Attorney General, Bill Schuette, previously ordered a consumer alert that warned Michigan residents that “virtual currency carries a significant amount of real-life risk.”

(Photo Credit: Michigan State)

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