Wyoming is a cryptocurrency friendly state according to its data centering on lax regulation. Now the state has given cryptocurrency enthusiasts another reason to consider moving to the largely bucolic state.
Wyoming Senate Bill 111 was introduced on Feb. 16 and the legislation seeks to exempt cryptocurrency from property taxation.
This is not surprising given the state’s track record of business-friendly tax legislation.
If the bill passes, it would be a boon for Wyoming’s economy, benefiting both individual investors and blockchain startups. More importantly, it could inspire other US states to similarly enact legislation to help speed up the proliferation of the cryptocurrency market.
Wyoming is already one of very few US states which doesn’t charge an income tax. By extending that lax approach to cryptocurrency, the state may help fuel a blockchain-based economic boom that’s already begun to unfold. The IRS, however, classifies bitcoin and other cryptocurrency as property and taxes it accordingly. Wyoming would be removing one layer of taxation on both the individual and business level.
The bill is being sponsored by several senators and representatives: senators Ogden Driskill, Tara Nethercott, and Chris Rothfuss, along with representatives Tyler Lindholm, David Miller, and Jared Olsen. All listed are Republicans except for Senator Rothfuss. The bill received 26 “ayes,” across both parties, 3 “nays” from Republicans, and 1 “excused.”
Once ratified into law, the bill will classify cryptocurrency like Bitcoin as a type of intangible item that “shall be exempt from property taxation.”
The bill also made it a point to define virtual currency as “any type of digital representation of value that is 1.) used as a medium of exchange, unit of account or store of value, and 2.) is not recognized as legal tender by the US government.”
In addition to cryptocurrency, the bill also extends its tax exemption to “money and cash on hand including currency, gold, silver and other coin, bank drafts, certified checks and cashier’s checks.”
If passed, Wyoming Senate Bill 111 would draw even more blockchain startups to the state which is already getting attention from digital coin enthusiasts.
Wyoming would have a competitive edge among cryptocurrency-friendly states jockeying for position in the market. Because Wyoming is a big coal producer and, therefore, boasts low electricity rates, the state has already proven to be a draw for bitcoin mining operations like data centers.
Thanks to its lax tax regulations and cheap power, long before Wyoming Senate Bill 111 was ever proposed, blockchain startups were flocking to the state. One of these companies included Canadian-based BlockCrushr. They added a corporate subsidiary in Wyoming.
Perhaps to further draw blockchain enthusiasts to the state, in addition to Senate Bill 111, Wyoming is also pushing Bill HB0070 which allow for digital tokens on an open blockchain from being subject to the state’s securities and money transmission laws.
Just south of Wyoming, Arizona’s Senate passed a bill earlier this month to allow residents to pay income taxes in bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrency. The bill must still pass the House, but, is a bold move to integrate cryptocurrency into their taxes thereby undermining the commercial banking system.
(To learn more about the background of Wyoming’s legislative work for cryptocurrency, read The “Bitcoin Bill” Initiates Blockchain Legislation in Wyoming.)