As many US states look to embrace cryptocurrency, could nation-wide policy be on the way?

The world of cryptocurrency seems to be evolving in the US, where proposals for using these digital assets are proliferating in many states across the country. At the same time, several US news outlets are reporting that an executive order from President Joe Biden could be issued within the week to outline a national strategy.

While an announcement from Joe Biden on US policy surrounding cryptocurrencies is expected later this week, many states are sending signals in favour of the crypto ecosystem. In any case, everything suggests that the first form of US regulation governing these assets is likely to arrive soon, following an assessment of the risks and opportunities they present.

While the government is preparing to study the case, several states have been showing interest in these virtual currencies long before, although their initiatives have sometimes fallen foul of broader US legislation.

In Arizona, state senator Wendy Rogers proposed to make the cryptocurrency bitcoin a legal tender in the state. However, the US Constitution theoretically prohibits individual states from creating their own legal tender. Some states, like Texas or Wyoming, have taken a different approach, by enshrining the use of crypto assets in legislation.

In Texas, this legislation, which came into force in January 2021, recognises cryptocurrencies as part of the state’s Uniform Commercial Code. As well as recognising the legal status of virtual currencies, this effectively extends the state’s commercial law to cover them. In Wyoming, it was even earlier – in February 2019 – that this kind of provision was enacted.

Paying taxes in crypto?

Meanwhile, in California, state senator Sydney Kamlager has introduced a bill to allow residents to pay for state government services using cryptocurrencies. At the same time, two political consultants have launched an initiative to make bitcoin legal tender in California.

And it’s the same story in Colorado, where state governor Jared Polis wants to accept tax payments in cryptocurrencies by next summer. While he hasn’t specified what kind of digital currencies will be involved, his idea would be to collect the crypto assets and then convert them into dollars. If successful, the governor could even propose extending the initiative to driver’s licenses or hunting licenses.

But if one thing’s for sure, it’s that the states, business and individuals in favour of adopting these new virtual currencies are all waiting for one thing: a US-wide plan to provide more clarity on how to move forward. – AFP Relaxnews

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