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Tennessee lawmaker proposes bill allowing state to invest in digital assets

A Tennessee lawmaker has introduced a bill that would allow the state, as well as its counties and municipalities, to invest in digital currencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The lawmaker also wants the state to implement friendly regulations that would make it the leading blockchain hub in the United States.

Rep. Jason Powell (D-Nashville) introduced Bill 2644 recently, seeking to make the state the first to have investments in digital currencies.

The bill seeks to amend the existing state code to allow “investment in cryptocurrency, blockchains, and non-fungible tokens.” It defines digital currency as a virtual currency that utilizes cryptography to validate and secure digital transactions, while NFTs are non-fungible cryptographic assets on the blockchain.

The bill has been assigned to the House Finance, Ways and Means Subcommittee which will give it consideration before passing it on to the House for debate.

“I represent Nashville. We’re a dynamic, growing city and I want to make sure that we foster a positive environment for all things technology, and I’m a big believer in blockchain technology. I think it’s important to promote legislation that creates a pro-blockchain environment,” stated Powell.

The lawmaker believes that the bill will sail through as his fellow lawmakers share his ambition to make Tennessee a digital currency and blockchain haven. He also believes that both Republicans and Democrats will unite behind the bill as it does something they all want—attracting more companies to Tennessee.

He further referred to his track record of success in passing blockchain bills. In 2018, he was one of the key legislators behind a bipartisan bill that sought to make the state friendlier to blockchain technology. 

“…at the end of the day, it’s a conversation I’m going to continue. Hopefully we can get it passed, but if not, we’ll continue the conversation and continue to push legislation to promote blockchain technology in the state of Tennessee,” Powell said.

The Tennessee bill comes just days after an Arizona state senator proposed another Bitcoin-friendly bill, this time exempting digital currencies from property tax. As CoinGeek reported, the bill also sought to protect the rights of Arizona residents who wish to run a node on any blockchain network.

Watch: U.S. Congressman Bill Foster on Bitcoin Association’s Blockchain Policy Matters

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