Although the general public may still be wary about the speculative craze that’s ongoing in the crypto space, state senators around the country are actively proposing legislative initiatives to accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as acceptable forms of tax payments. Here are a few states that’ve actively discussed moving forward with legitimizing bitcoin and cryptocurrency.
The State of Arizona in the US passed HB 2417 in April of 2017, which legalizes blockchain signatures and enforces smart contracts as a means of commercial transactions between consumers and corporations. Shortly after, HB 2603 was passed to allow corporations to hold and share data on a distributed ledger. Most recently, Bill SB 1901 was passed by the Arizona State Senate, which allows Arizona residents to pay their taxes with cryptocurrencies. Revisions have recently been made to Bill SB 1901 that mandate that the state government must convert cryptocurrencies to US dollars at the rate of payment. The types of cryptocurrencies allowed to pay for taxes include “any cryptocurrency.”
The OPEN Platform, the user-facing platform for residents of Arizona, is partnering with NEO Global Capital to develop a secure and efficient infrastructure to support the most widely-used blockchains on a continuous basis. The OPEN Platform developer beta is set to launch by the end of May. According to Coinspeaker, OPEN aims to create a user-friendly interface for Arizona’s residents to easily make tax payments with cryptocurrency.
On April 30th, the bill passed the House of Representatives by a 43–14 vote. Added stipulations to the measure include a study to be conducted by the Arizona Department of Revenue to further evaluate effective payment gateways for residents and the conversion method of cryptocurrencies to US dollars. The two chambers are in talks to hammer out the details to ensure due diligence before launching the crypto-payment service, according to Coindesk.
Senate Bill 464 (which would mandate that the state accept Bitcoin and cryptocurrency as forms of payment) is currently tabled until the next legislative session, which begins in January of 2019. The bill unfortunately did not receive a committee hearing before the Georgia Senate adjourned on March 29th.
“The more we can talk to legislators and the general public, the more we can educate on the beneficial aspects of blockchain.”
Senator Mike Williams, one of the bill’s sponsors (who also happens to be running for governor in November) may take this next year as an opportunity to educate legislators on the benefits of blockchain technology.
According to Gordon Law Limited, Michael Zalewski, a state representative in the state of Illinois most recently introduced a bill that’d allow the state to accept cryptocurrency as a form of tax payments. The bill would need to pass both the houses of Illinois legislature and then signed by the governor in order for it to be in effect. The proposed bill contains similar stipulations to that of Arizona’s, and calls for the state government to convert crypto into US Dollars within 24 hours of receipt. As of March 5th, the bill is up for deliberation by the Illinois House Revenue and Finance Committee to hammer out the details.
The crypto cat has been let out of the bag, and discussions are being held amongst state government officials, (however preliminary), to properly regulate how cryptocurrencies may be used for commercial or tax payments. Arizona’s passing of Bill SB 1901 legitimizes cryptocurrency as an acceptable form of payment. Despite Georgia’s tabling of the bill for the next legislative session in January 2019, there’s no doubt state senators will be putting more time into educating their fellow state government officials and refining the initial proposal, according to Senator Mike Williams.