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7 Crypto-Friendly States in The US

The world is replete with cases of governments frustrating crypto usage or adoption. Ask anyone about the most crypto-suppressive nations. The chances are that they’ll mention China besides other planned economies. Moreover, the crypto stances of many western governments haven’t been encouraging either. Countries like America haven’t cracked down on digital assets. They’ve shown open skepticism for them. However, though they’ve shown support, it has always been half-hearted. It’s driven more by their reluctant acceptance. Not by the enthusiasm arising from the realization of their value.

Despite government resistance, the crypto sector is booming. It’s this realization that’s convinced certain states in the US to take pro-crypto stances. They’ve gone ahead to pass legislation to the benefit of the industry.

Regarding that, this article looks at seven crypto-friendly states in America. It delves into how they’re developing cryptocurrencies and blockchain (BC)technology across the state.

The Crypto-Friendly States in America

The rush to adopt cryptos is gaining steam throughout the US. It would be impractical to document all and their efforts to promote cryptos. So we will focus on the following seven states. Please note that the list doesn’t suggest their ranking in any way.

California

California is home to tech giants like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon. Others are Netflix, Twitter, Uber, Airbnb, Lyft, PayPal, Spotify, and Tesla Motors. Thus it attracts plenty of startups and entrepreneurs working in various industries. One of those is fintech.

The state was one of the first to allow residents and businesses to use virtual currencies. Furthermore, its laws enable people to pay their taxes in digital currency. Additionally, its Department of Financial Services issues guidelines on regulating crypto exchanges.

Also, it’s been one of the first movers of Bitcoin legislation. In May 2017, its legislature introduced Senate Bill 829. It added a crypto provision into Section 10701 of the money transmission laws. But the bill died on the floor without even coming up for discussion at the end of that month.

The California legislature has since introduced Senate Bill 838. It defines virtual currency as any digital representation of value that serves as a medium of exchange. Again it’s a form of digitally stored value. It integrates into a payment system technology. The definition is quite comprehensive and covers most in-use cryptocurrencies.

Delaware

Delaware continues to woo companies wishing to incorporate their businesses in the state. It has favorable business policies. Among the firms it’s attracting includes those that use cryptocurrency as a part of their operations. Delaware incorporates more than half of the Fortune 500 companies.

In 2017, the state passed distributed ledger technology (DLT) and smart contracts law. The law aimed to encourage fledgling crypto businesses to incorporate their businesses. The new initiative is welcoming DLT businesses. It has also opened the state to use blockchain technologies in government operations. Delaware has a law allowing companies to use BC for recording stockholder information. The information includes stock votes, stock name changes, and issued shares.

The new legislation also legalized securities registration on DLT platforms. Further, it prohibits any fraudulent or deceptive sale of stock or securities.

Delaware was also one of the first states to pass legislation on ICOs. Its “Token Taxation Act” came into effect last May. The act exempts token issuers from paying income taxes. That said, those tokens shouldn’t qualify as securities under US laws.

Wyoming

The state of Wyoming has taken steps to endear itself to crypto entrepreneurs. First off, you don’t need any special licenses to operate a crypto-related business. Second, it offers tax breaks to companies using BC technology.

Wyoming also welcomes crypto businesses, but only if they follow certain conditions. For example, companies need to register themselves before starting operations. They must also get a money transmitter license from FinCEN. Finally, they have to get approval from the Office of the Commissioner of Securities.

The state was the first to pass laws recognizing BC records as legal evidence. They took effect in March 2018 following Governor Matt Mead’s accent. It also passed a bill providing tax breaks and incentives for businesses in BC. The move was to help boost economic growth. It seeks to create an environment friendly to developing DLTs and create wide-ranging legislation covering blockchain record keeping. Moreover, it also covers personal data ownership rights and exemption from securities registration.

Arizona

Arizona has created a friendly environment for crypto firms and businesses. It passed a bill recognizing blockchain signatures as legal and valid. Since becoming operational on March 23rd, 2018, it makes electronic records acceptable in court.

It passed another bill that sought to protect crypto investors. The bill prevents investment contracts from imposing third-party promoters with liability for misrepresentation or fraudulent activity. The state’s Crypto Czar sees continuous growth in the industry as a sign that it’s here to stay.

Arizona introduced House Bill 2417 to recognize and regulate the use of BC. The bill became law on April 9th, 2018. The legislation enables licensed entities to issue, provide or sell any digital assets. These include crypto tokens, even when they don’t confer ownership to real-world assets.

Washington DC

Washington DC is also enthusiastic about Bitcoin and other Altcoins. There are currently over 100 bills dealing with cryptocurrencies. Many of them came from members of congress, while others from Wall Street. All told, Capitol Hill considers this space worth watching.

It’s one of the friendliest places for any business, including those involved in cryptocurrencies. To improve its attractiveness, its lawmakers work with other states and federal agencies. That way, they can establish unified supportive policies.

In 2018 the state enacted legislation allowing residents to pay taxes using crypto. Businesses in the state can accept digital assets as payment for goods and services.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts is yet another place where lawmakers seem interested in supporting innovative technology. Last July, they introduced a bill allowing residents to use cryptocurrency wallets. They did so without registering with local authorities.

Moreover, the state has also become an important location for blockchain companies. For example, Chainalysis opened its Boston office in 2018. Other notable players operating out of Massachusetts include Blockstream, BitGo, Coinbase, among others.

Florida

Florida has zeroed in on helping crypto businesses. It has passed two bills that will help to remove the barriers hindering their growth. The first became operational in April 2018. It recognizes blockchain records as legal evidence. The second came into force in May 2018, making digital signatures accepted.

The two laws will help to cut down on litigation. They’ll streamline the operations of crypto exchanges, ICOs, and other stakeholders, here. Florida believes that cryptos are here to stay. That’s why it’s investing in the sector.

Other States That Are Crypto-Friendly

Again the above list isn’t conclusive. Other states are willing to accommodate and encourage cryptocurrency and BC technology growth. These include:

  • South Carolina – its Senate Bill 438 became law in 2017. It acknowledges digital records binding.
  • Montana – has an easy setup for crypto firms. You’ll only need to file an “Application To Operate An Electronic Money Institution.”
  • Colorado – allows residents to trade digital assets without restrictions. It doesn’t tax crypto transactions.
  • New Hampshire – exempts crypto traders from paying capital gains taxes. Has favorable licensing requirements for anyone looking to launch their crypto firm
  • North Dakota – legalized trading in Bitcoin back in 2014. And it has a dedicated department for regulating the crypto market
  • Illinois – recognizes cryptocurrencies as legal payment forms

Author’s Thoughts

The crypto industry is on an upward trend. Today, many accept crypto-assets for payment and investments too. Despite their growing popularity, they face stiff opposition from governments that are reluctant to adopt them. In the US, for example, the federal government has been skeptical about them.

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The US government has been reluctant to support crypto adoption. Even though they haven’t completely banned all applications of cryptocurrencies, there are areas that the officials have restricted. Nonetheless, different states are realizing the value of cryptocurrencies. They’re thus creating enabling environments for their development and growth. Hopefully, their support could lay the foundation for the eventual mass adoption of cryptos.

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