Innovative Wyoming Lawmakers Introduce Two Crypto-Friendly Bills

Lawmakers in Wyoming continue to demonstrate an open-minded and innovative approach to cryptocurrency and blockchain.

Different groups of state legislators have recently introduced two bills, one related to to the tokenization of stocks, and another concerning cryptocurrency classification. 

Representative Jared Olsen, alongside five other state representatives and two state senators, are the sponsors of House Bill 0185, concerning “Corporate stock-certificate tokens.” The proposed bill would give companies the ability to digitize and store stock certificates on a “blockchain or other secure, auditable database.” Passage means the legislation would come into force on July 1st.

Representative Olsen was one of the House sponsors of the other piece of legislation, which would place cryptocurrency assets into three different categories in an effort to clear up classification questions. He was joined in sponsorship by four other state representatives and four state senators.

Laying The Groundwork For Stock Tokenization

The bill concerning stock tokenization would authorize “corporations to issue certificate tokens in lieu 3 of stock certificates” by amending existing legislation.

According to the legislation, “the articles of incorporation or bylaws of a corporation may specify that all or a portion of the shares of the corporation may be represented by share certificates in the form of certificate tokens.”

The issuing corporation, the certificate’s owner, and “any transferee” would have access to the digitized stock certificate’s information.

Pushing To Clear Up Cryptocurrency Classification

Another recently introduced bill pertains to “properly classifying digital assets within existing laws.” It separates cryptocurrency assets into digital consumer assets, digital securities, and virtual currencies.

It noted that digital consumer assets would be characterized as “intangible personal property," and how digital securities “are intangible personal property and shall be considered securities,” and how virtual currency is “intangible personal property and shall be considered money.”

The legislation specifies that banks have the ability to "provide custodial services for digital assets consistent with this section upon providing sixty (60) days written notice to the commissioner.”

The sponsors on both pieces of legislation have been some of the notable leaders in touting cutting-edge technology for Wyoming.

Representative Tyler Lindholm was thanked on Twitter on January 11th by Caitlin Long, co-founder of the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition, for helping drive and pass a fintech sandbox bill through a House committee.

The Wyoming Blockchain Coalition has been working to “educate Wyoming citizens about the power of blockchain technology to cut costs, streamline administrative processes and spur entirely new businesses in Wyoming.” The coalition boasts an influential list of initial advisors, who include Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne, former Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer, and Ernst & Young executive David Miller.