Wyoming legislators introduce legislation to create a state-issued stablecoin

The measure had merits and cons, according to Avanti Financial CEO Caitlin Long, but it was “certainly a conversation-starter” for lawmakers looking into stablecoins.

A bill introduced by four members of the Wyoming Legislature would empower the state treasurer to issue a stablecoin.

Senators Chris Rothfuss and Tara Nethercott, as well as House Representatives Jared Olsen and Mike Yin, introduced Senate File SF0106, the “Wyoming Stable Token Act,” on Thursday. If enacted into law, the measure would allow the state treasurer to issue a dollar-pegged stablecoin that could be redeemed for cash held in a state account.

The state treasurer, who at the time of publishing was Curtis Meier, would meet with the department’s Investment Funds Committee and have the power to engage “accountants, auditors, consultants, and other specialists” to issue the coins, as well as set limitations and guidelines. State regulators would have until December 31 to issue the stablecoin, with the option of submitting a report by November 1 if the offering was deemed “incompatible with federal or state law.”

Caitlin Long, CEO of Wyoming-based Avanti Financial, chimed in on the legislation, noting that while it had merits and problems, it was “certainly a conversation-starter” for lawmakers looking into stablecoins. Stablecoins, according to Long, are “extremely essential bridges between crypto and the US dollar” that require legislative certainty.

In response to the proposed stablecoin, Long commented, “It’s a mind-bender.” “It’s like a muni bond that doesn’t pay interest or have a maturity date but can be redeemed — but it isn’t exactly that because there would be significant legal and structural/settlement differences.”

Rothfuss is the chair of Wyoming’s Select Committee on Blockchain, Financial Technology, and Digital Innovation Technology, which was established in May 2020 to study crypto and blockchain advancements and to propose laws connected to them. Since gaining office, Nethercott, Olsen, Rothfuss, and other Wyoming politicians have proposed a bill exempting cryptocurrencies from state property taxes, as well as two additional bills addressing tokenization and compliance difficulties.

Wyoming has been at the vanguard of a state-centered approach to crypto regulation, with multiple pieces of legislation that appear to be beneficial to the industry and a U.S. Senator, Cynthia Lummis, who owns Bitcoin (BTC). In September 2020, Kraken became the first cryptocurrency company to be granted a Wyoming bank licence, with the State Banking Board later accepting a charter for Avanti.

The Wyoming Stable Token Act was sent to the Joint Minerals, Business, and Economic Development Committee on February 17th.


Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.

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