Business 18 February 2019Erik Gibbs
Wyoming becomes crypto-friendly state with new regulations
The extensive plains and picturesque mountains of Wyoming are inviting to anyone and are now welcoming cryptocurrencies. In a bid to become a significant hub for blockchain and crypto, legislators have been hard at work this month approving bills that will see the state attract a lot of attention from the crypto community.
Wyoming has always been willing to become the first, especially when it comes to legislation that simply makes sense. It recently announced the Digital Assets-Existing Law bill, and has now passed a resolution, as of February 14, stating that Wyoming “law recognizes property rights in the digital ownership of digital assets.” In simple terms, the bill stipulates that “digital assets are property within the Uniform Commercial Code.”
In a Twitter post, blockchain advocate Caitlin Long broke the news, stating, “1/ BOOM! #Wyoming just recognized clear, direct property rights for #digitalassets by passing SF125! This means #blockchain cos will [probably] want to apply WY law to your contracts, domicile here, &/or have a physical presence here. [Thanks] again to the army of [people] who helped over months.”
Long explains that the resolution, SF0125, enables individuals to own digital securities directly without having to rely on an intermediary. In the U.S. property laws fall under the control of the individual states, meaning Wyoming is free from any federal backlash in introducing the legislation.
The crypto enthusiast and Wyoming native further explains, “It makes perfect sense that Wyoming is the epicenter of blockchain law in the US. That’s also why institutional investors, which are prohibited by federal law from directly owning the assets they manage, can rest assured that Wyoming’s digital asset custodians are actually solvent.”
Wyoming now also defines crypto assets by three types – digital securities, digital consumer assets and virtual currencies – according to the bill. All three are considered personal property, not private property, in a manner similar to what is seen in other countries that have been more progressive than the U.S. in establishing crypto regulations. SF0125 also asserts that “virtual currency is intangible personal property and shall be considered money.”
This is a huge step forward for the state, as well as for crypto. It can lead to digital currencies being treated the same as fiat, which will ultimately lead to crypto being able to take its legitimate place as an alternative to paper money.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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