Cryptocurrency Regulation

Wyoming Proposes Bill that Defines Virtual Currencies as Money

January 20, 2019
Giancarlo Roma


Wyoming Proposes Bill that Defines Virtual Currencies as Money

A bill that would clarify the classification of cryptocurrencies was introduced in Wyoming yesterday. This news comes according to the official state legislature website.

The bill effectively breaks down cryptoassets in three categories: digital assets (“a representation of economic, proprietary or access rights that is stored in a computer readable format”), digital securities (“a digital asset which constitutes a contract, transaction or arrangement where a person invests money in a common enterprise and is led to expect profits from the efforts of a promoter or a third party”), and virtual currencies (“(A)  Used as a medium of exchange, unit of account or store of value; and (B) Not recognized as legal tender by the United States government”).

The bill defines assets that would be categorized in any of those three ways as “intangible personal property,” which would mean that they would be treated the same as fiat currency in the eyes of the law, and also allows banks to “provide custodial services for digital assets consistent with this section upon providing sixty (60) days written notice to the commissioner.”

This latest bill comes amid a flurry of proposed blockchain-related legislation in the state of Wyoming. A bill allowing corporations to issue stock in the form blockchain-based tokens was introduced on January 16th, and a sandbox bill that would allow for startups to test new technologies (including but not limited to blockchain-based technologies) in order to see how they would function with regard to existing regulations was approved on January 11th. Wyoming, it seems, is angling to become a crypto-friendly state, perhaps at least partially in order to attract new startups and blockchain companies to the state.

The state has also demonstrated interest in utilizing blockchain technology for government administration purposes. In December of last year, Teton county in Wyoning announced a partnership with Overstock, an online retailer and blockchain-forward business, concerning land records.