The U.S. has very contradictory and uncertain classifications of cryptocurrencies that differ between the federal agencies. For example, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), both have different opinions on what they consider the definition of “cryptocurrencies” to be.
The U.S. state of Wyoming is looking to be the first government agency to define cryptocurrency utility tokens as a new assets class.
As for the SEC, they have stated unequivocally that all the initial coin offering (ICOs) and tokens they have looked at are securities. In other words, the SEC has declared all unregistered ICOs as illegal because they are violating U.S. securities laws.
However, the CFTC considers crypto tokens as commodities. Supporting this stance, a District Judge in New York, Judge Jack Weinstein, ruled last week that “Virtual Currencies can be regulated by the CFTC as a Commodity."
As the federal ‘securities or commodities’ war rages, the state of Wyoming is taking action by legislating a definition, among other things.
Since the beginning of the year, the state's legislature has passed five crypto-related bills one of these bills that provides for the definition of cryptos as a brand new assets class, that is, a commodity.
This definition is found in the “Utility Token Bill,” (House Bill 70) which was passed by the Wyoming State Senate on March 7. Over the weekend, Governor Matt Mead signed the bill into law.
Why The “Utility Token Bill”?
Before now, the state was a haven for crypto businesses like Coinbase and other exchanges, however the unfavourable state money transmission laws chased these businesses out of Wyoming. Already, with the new law passed, some are beginning to make their way back, including new businesses.
With the first step taken by the state of Wyoming, other Federal agencies may consider this approach.