One month into the new year, state legislatures are dipping their toes into crypto and blockchain.
Many of the bills introduced on the issues in 17 states so far call for legislative task forces and joint business-government study groups.
Legislators appear to show they want their state governments to learn the ins and outs of fintech before they allow crypto and blockchain to live in the everyday regulatory climate as other ways of conducting business.
Chamber of Digital Commerce Chief Policy Officer Amy Davine Kim said she sees momentum.
“Legislators want to show they’re open for blockchain businesses to come in. They want to know what the industry wants. They want to be supportive,” said the digital commerce trade group executive.
She said efforts to advance blockchain and crypto in the State Houses have a non-partisan flavor.
“People on both sides of the aisle have an interest on this,” said Kim.
A toolkit devised for state legislators by the Digital Chamber boasts blockchain has the promise to create extraordinary economic growth and cost efficiencies.
Mary Pfaff, who keeps tabs on the legislative activity for the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, said she has seen a lot of bills to permit the payment of taxes with crypto and to broaden the use of digital currency.
Wyoming legislators have steered their state to the head of the pack.
“They are trying to make Wyoming the center for innovators in the blockchain and crypto space, said the CSBS’s Pfaff.
Last year, they changed the tax code and other Wyoming laws to encourage fintech companies to come in.
This year, there is legislation to place Wyoming as the first state after Arizona to have a light regulatory system in place for fintech startups.
One bill would establish a special bank where blockchain companies could do transactions with digital currency,
National Conference of State Legislatures analyst Heather Morton said there are more bills now than there were this time last year to allow campaign contributions with digital currencies.
She added legislation has also been introduced to authorize blockchain for corporate records.