JACKSON HOLE, WYO – While most states are still trying to figure out what it is, Wyoming knows what it wants.
The Cowboy State took a huge techno leap with the passage of bills that make it the nation’s frontrunner in addressing leading technology behind blockchain and virtual currency.
Both House Hills (HB19, HB70) and Senate File 111 were signed by Governor Matt Mead last week after breezing through legislative bodies. They become law on July 1, 2018.
The new state laws not only put Wyoming out front when it comes to states specifically defining how digital currency will be addressed, but the laws could challenge current federal policy concerning digital currency.
SEC chairman Jay Clayton and others in DC believe crypto currencies like Bitcoin are investments or security. Wyoming’s House of Representatives just became the first elected body to say, no, blockchain-based tokens are a utility or property, and therefore are exempt from securities laws and taxation.
Stage is set
It’s a huge shot across the bow as far as precedent and business media outlets are all eager to see what happens. Several news stories broke over the weekend with the Wyoming Legislature in their headlines. Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, and Newsweek were just a few of the national publications to take note of Wyoming’s bold move to be “Crypto Valley, USA.”
Blockchain tokens are not clearly defined at the national level. What Wyoming has done may not hold up as far as Washington is concerned but it tees up an interesting debate, if not ensuing legal battle, especially if other states enact similar legislation.
Sooner or later, Congress may have to act after Wyoming has opened its doors to cryptocurrency.