The list of states accepting and promoting blockchain technology may grow longer this year if Wyoming adopts any of the blockchain-related legislation currently being proposed in the state. Three bills will be introduced as a package in the upcoming legislative session this month, seeking to promote blockchain technology and highlight why the state—with its zero corporate income taxes and strict privacy laws—is specifically appealing to the blockchain industry.
The bills in the package
The Wyoming Blockchain Coalition is a grassroots organization with the goal to “educate Wyoming citizens about the power of blockchain technology to cut costs, streamline administrative processes and spur entirely new businesses in Wyoming.” The organization sees the introduction of blockchain technology as a significant benefit to both the state and the blockchain community, and its members strongly support the three bills being proposed.
Bill H.B.0070 is the highlight of the package. If adopted, it would allow tokens issued on an open blockchain to be exempt from the state’s money transmitter and securities laws—provided that the token in question is exchangeable for goods or services and has not been marketed as an investment. People who exchange tokens would not be considered brokers/dealers in their transactions either. According to the bill’s sponsors, since blockchain tokens are neither securities nor money, the current regulation for securities should not apply.
Bill H.B.0019, known as the “bitcoin bill”, hopes to bring back businesses such as Coinbase that had to pull out of Wyoming due to the state’s money transmitter laws. The “bitcoin bill” would exempt virtual currencies from these laws.
The so-called “filings bill” would decrease excessive paperwork in the counties and municipalities by enabling the Secretary of State to collect registrations using blockchain. This would allow official records of ownership (and changes of ownership) to exist on a blockchain, eventually eliminating the need for paper records of titles, deeds, and receipts.
If these bills are passed and become law in Wyoming, they will be the first token-specific laws in the world and will set a standard for the rest of the states as well as the federal level.