In the summer of 2015, a Delaware official approached the cryptocurrency lawyer Marco Santori with a simple question.
Andrea Tinianow, the state's director of corporate and international development, had learned that New York, where Santori practiced law, was cracking down on bitcoin startups. She wanted to know, "How do we drive them out of New York and bring them to Delaware?"
Santori told her that some of his clients at the law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman were interested in issuing shares of stock on a blockchain. There was no law preventing it, but his clients wanted to see it expressly allowed.