As Bitcoin becomes more and more viable, states like Tennessee and Arizona are racing to pass cryptocurrency-friendly legislation in an effort to become the blockchain capital of the country.
On the Books
Bitcoin’s quest for legitimacy is set to be aided significantly by the state of Tennessee, which looks to officially accept electronic cryptocurrency payments for financial transactions.
Though it is currently not illegal to conduct business transactions with Bitcoin in The Volunteer State, Democrat Rep. Jason Powell would like to lead the charge in officially recognizing payments with digital currencies as legal. In a presentation on blockchain technology from Jan. 24th, Powell explained:
We are not just competing with other states in the technology and the space, we’re competing with the world. In making sure that Tennessee has meaningful blockchain legislation, it is really important to say that Tennessee is supportive of this technology and we want to be a leader in this innovation.
According to The Tennessean, the crypto-friendly bill aims not only to legitimize cryptocurrencies and smart contracts for electronic transactions but also “protect ownership rights of information secured by the same methods.”
Arizona to Accept Bitcoin Payments for Taxes
Tennessee isn’t the only state looking to legitimize Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The state of Arizona is also looking to fill their cryptocurrency coffers.
State legislators have proposed bills aiming to both recognize Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as currency—as opposed to a commodity—and allow state taxpayers the ability to pay their taxes with Bitcoin. According to Rep. Jeff Weninger:
It’s one of a litany of bills that we’re running that is sending a signal to everyone in the United States, and possibly throughout the world, that Arizona is going to be the place to be for block chain and digital currency technology in the future.
Rep. Weninger is all aboard the cryptocurrency train, claiming Bitcoin’s use for paying taxes is obviously clear. Says Weninger:
The ease of use, being able to do it in the middle of the night, being able to do it at home while you’re watching TV … I think in a few years this isn’t even going to be a question.
A Positive Outlook
The news out of Tennessee and Arizona comes after other states have already taken positive measures in relation to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
In June, New Hampshire passed a law exempting Bitcoin from the state’s money transmitter regulations.
Cryptocurrency regulation in other states remains largely undecided. However, with many states vying to become the most crypto-friendly, expect other states to follow suit.
Do you live in the USA and is your state planning on taking a pro-crypto stance? Would you be willing to pay your state taxes in Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitcoinist archives, and Wikimedia Commons.