Pro-crypto bills PASS in Wyoming House
Wyoming is taking steps toward greater adoption and freedom related to blockchain technology. On February 20, the Wyoming House of Representatives unanimously passed two blockchain-related bills: HB19 and HB70. HB19 seeks to allow cryptocurrencies to be exempt from 2003's Wyoming Money Transmitter Act. HB70 essentially defines an open blockchain token as, neither traditional money, nor a security.
The Wyoming Money Transmitter Act (passed in 2008, before the creation of Bitcoin) would require cryptocurrency operators and entities that offer Bitcoin (or other cryptocurrencies) to obtain a Money Transmitter License. This means that an exchange or wallet service (i.g. Coinbase) would need to have an equal amount of FIAT currency to back up the amount of Bitcoin (cryptocurrency) being digitally transferred or held. Because of these steep regulations, in June 2016, Coinbase suspended all operations for customers in Wyoming stating:
With the passing of HB19, an exemption to this rule is given for virtual currency. This would be good for exchanges like Coinbase, as it would allow them to feasibly resume business in the state of Wyoming.
HB70 opens doors by allowing any "open blockchain token" to neither be considered traditional money, nor a security, if meeting these requirements:
1. The token has NOT been marketed as an investment opportunity.
2. The token CAN be used in exchange for goods or services.
3. There is no repurchase agreement or any agreement to find future buyers for the token.
If these two bills become law in Wyoming, there are still Federal regulations, (the SEC Howey Test), which could overrule the law and efforts of Wyoming law makers. Regarding Federal interference of these laws, White House cybersecurity coordinator, Rob Joyce stated that the U.S. govt. is "...not close" to enacting any regulation on cryptocurrency at this time.
More info on Robert Joyce's comments on the U.S. governments plan of action on crypto currency regulations can be found here.