US State’s Bill Declares Blockchain Altering A Crime

A pair of bills has been introduced by the United States’ Michigan’s state legislature where altering any blockchain data would be made illegal and will be treated as a serious criminal offence. The House Bill 6257 and 6258 have been introduced on June 12 and if passed would be effective 90 days after being enacted as a law. As of date, the state of Michigan has no specific law on cryptocurrency. What led to the creation of the bills is still not clear.

According to House Bill 6257 presented by state representative Curt Wanderwall any person who “falsely makes, alters, forges or counterfeit a public record” and intends to “injure or defraud another person” would be charged with a “felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 14 years.” This, however, has been quoted without specific examples.

House Bill 6258 proposes to alter the existing Michigan Penal code to incorporate distributed ledger technology (DLT) along with cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency has been defined as “digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, and that operates independently of a central bank”.

As per its definition, Blockchain is a digital ledger where the data record cannot be changed. All parties maintain a copy of the blockchain transaction. In order to fake a transaction, every copy of the ledger has to be changed globally which is practically impossible. Blockchain network can never be struck through a single computer. It would require access to multiple computers and other computing knowledge to alter data at the same time.

The IBM blockchain blog sites that if a blockchain record is altered, the signatures become invalid and other participants of the network are notified immediately. This makes altering the blockchain data almost impossible.