A plan is moving forward that could revolutionize how companies are able to keep information safe from hackers.

Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, D-Somerset, is the sponsor of legislation that “would allow Garden State businesses to move into the 21st century when it comes to securing transactions.”

His measure provides that corporations may utilize electronic networks, including distributed ones that utilize blockchain technology, in order to meet recordkeeping requirements.

He said most corporations store data on a single computer and if that computer gets hacked, the bad guys get access to that data. But blockchain technology, which is currently used to make crypto currency secure, spreads out the data over many computers, meaning hackers would have to hack multiple computers and their connections.

“It makes it almost impossible to have our data hacked, and that’s really the promise of blockchain technology," Zwicker said.

State law requires corporations keep records containing the names and addresses of all shareholders, the number, class and series of shares held by each and the dates when they respectively became the owners of the shares.

This legislation would allow the corporate records of shares to be kept on an electronic network. It also provides that corporations may use electronic transmissions from electronic networks to meet with certain notice provisions of existing law.

Zwicker said the measure would not require corporations to use blockchain technology but they could use it if they decide it’s a good idea.

“Businesses are free to innovate, businesses are free to look at what makes the most sense for them,” he said. “All we are doing is lowering a speed bump that was there simply because the technology wasn’t ready.”

The measure has been approved by the full Assembly and is currently being considered by the state Senate Commerce Committee.

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