Cryptocurrency Regulation

The Wyoming Crypto Bill and What it means for the Wyoming Blockchain Industry

January 27, 2019
Saad Mohammad

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The Wyoming Crypto Bill and What it means for the Wyoming Blockchain Industry

While most U.S. states and countless institutions and even private individuals contend with blockchain legislation, the state of Wyoming seems to have taken a friendly approach towards blockchain and crypto. This month, Wyoming introduced a new crypto bill that appears geared toward providing an environment conducive to the growth of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. This move is expected to attract blockchain businesses to this sparsely populated state that tops the nation in countless categories not worthy of mention. In its quest to compete with its larger, more populated neighbors, the state of Wyoming decided to introduce clear blockchain legislation that could perhaps help it lead in the field over the years to come. Moreover, the state has also shown interest in implementing blockchain technology for government administration.

Details of the Crypto Bill

According to the official state legislature website, the state of Wyoming has introduced a new crypto bill meant to clarify the classification of cryptos. Reports of the new regulations were announced by the President of the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition, Caitlin Long. The Wyoming Blockchain Coalition has been working with senators and legislators to pass the bill. The bill aims to classify cryptocurrencies as money and allows for conventional banks to become legal custodians of crypto. Under this new bill, the state classifies digital assets into three distinct categories:






  • Digital assets
  • Digital securities
  • Virtual currencies

The bill defines any assets falling in these three categories as intangible personal property. Therefore, owners of digital currencies will have now have their rights to their intangible property – their crypto holdings – recognized. While the bill allows banks in the state of Wyoming to act as custodians of cryptocurrencies, it should be noted that the banks themselves would not accept deposits of digital assets but assets under administration. This is following regulations put forward by the SEC (Securities and Exchanges Commission). This is mainly because the SEC prefers a bank over a trust company as a custodian of digital assets.    

What it all Means for the Wyoming Blockchain Industry

Now that cryptocurrencies and other digital assets have the same legal status as fiat money under Wyoming commercial law, the state could potentially see many blockchain companies move into the state. Moreover, state legislations towards crypto are clear and easy to understand. Therefore, companies looking for clarity with regards to tax laws, legal classifications, and other areas that are often ambiguously defined in financial vernacular, if at all, will find Wyoming’s laws much easier to wrap their heads – and business processes and decisions – around. Meanwhile, in other states, legislation and attitudes towards cryptos remain mixed. This has made it challenging for blockchain companies to operate in the U.S., and this is perhaps the biggest reason that the Wyoming bill is a pretty big deal.    

Conclusion

The Wyoming crypto bill represents the creation of a regulatory home for the blockchain industry in Wyoming. There are expectations that the bill will have a significant impact for Wyoming by boosting its image as a pace-setter in blockchain and crypto legislation. There has already been a measurable uptick in the number of crypto companies moving to Wyoming. Cardano has already made its move to the state. There is hope that after Wyoming’s move, more states and perhaps even countries will take the step toward establishing clear laws and regulations around blockchain and crypto and digital assets. The time is now to create a pathway for such technologies, and Wyoming is leading the pack.