Wyoming Legislature Passes new Cryptocurrency Bill

The Wyoming legislature just passed a historic bill that exempts blockchain tokens also known as “utility tokens,” from existing state regulations and securities laws. The bill is heralded as the first of its kind and shows Wyoming’s determination to welcome more software companies and tech startups to their state.

House Bill 70 passed through Wyoming’s House of Representatives initially last month on February 20. The vote today passed the Senate and now HB 70 is on its way to Governor Matt Mead’s office to be signed into law.

The bill defines “utility tokens” used in exchange for goods and services as completely different from “equity tokens,” which are used for investment and marketing purposes. The bill passed with a vote of 27-3, and also included the use of blockchain records for corporations.

There are currently five bills working their way through the legislative body and almost all are expected to be signed by the Governor and go into effect immediately. Cryptocurrency supporters are excited about the new legislation, as it not only marks the first time any elected body has recognized cryptocurrency as a legitimate asset in its own class, its a first step toward sensible cryptocurrency regulation.

Caitlin Long, co-founder of the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition is an advocate for cryptocurrency legislation in the state, and has been working tirelessly for the last few years to see a bill pass that would help protect the emerging industry.

She stated to Bitcoin Magazine the bills currently on the legislative roster, “Are designed to attract software companies to move to Wyoming, as well as to attract businesses to register in Wyoming even if they don’t move there.”

In addition to HB 70, Wyoming has also exempted cryptocurrencies from the Wyoming Money Transmitter Act. Another bill on the roster, HB 19, which exempts cryptocurrencies from the state’s money transmission laws, is also expected to pass sometime this week.

The legislative move this week proves Wyoming is taking leadership in the regulation of cryptocurrency, an issue that many governments have not yet attempted in the wake of cryptocurrency’s new popularity. Wyoming’s lead is sure to be followed by other states in the future.

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