In previous years, the state of Wyoming has touted mining and agriculture as its top industries. Recently the state legislature has passed a series of new bills aimed at making the western state attractive to the crypto industry as well. This continued push for smart regulatory frameworks will uniquely benefit blockchains like Bitcoin SV (BSV), which is compliance friendly.
Early in the year, Wyoming had numerous state initiates supporting the blockchain industry. On February 14, Wyoming’s House adopted an earlier passed Senate bill recognizing cryptocurrencies as money. Following the passage, another bill, Wyoming Utility Token Act, passed defining open blockchain tokens with specified consumptive characteristics as intangible personal property.
Wyoming passed further bills supporting blockchain technology such as on tokenization and industry compliance, the latter establishing Special Purpose Depository Institutions (SPDIs), a new type of fully-reserved fiat bank that can also hold crypto assets. With SPDIs, Wyoming is positioning itself to be a means cryptocurrency businesses can get around New York’s notoriously tricky to obtain BitLicense.
Chris Land, general counsel of the Wyoming Division of Banking, stated: “We are fairly confident that the Wyoming SPDI will be able to operate in New York without a BitLicense.”
With an SPDI, crypto exchanges, and other startups could operate in New York without going through the state’s licensing formalities, under the same legal principles that exempt banks from needing state money transmitter licenses, Wyoming advocates said.
“Some companies might choose to partner with unaffiliated SPDIs, and others might choose to create their own affiliated SPDI,” stated Caitlin Long who was appointed by the Governor to the Wyoming Blockchain Task Force. “The significance is that crypto companies won’t need to rely anymore on the few traditional banks that have been willing to bank the industry.”
If the Wyoming SPDI works out as proposed, it could be seen as history repeating itself similar to the way Citi found a smart idea to sidestep New York’s stringent usury laws. The bank made a landmark decision in 1981 to move its credit card operation to South Dakota, where legislators were won over by Citicorp’s promise of jobs if that state lifted its usury ceiling.
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