Posted on

Arizona Law Would Define When ICOs Are Securities

The number of blockchain bills before the Arizona state legislature is growing, public records show.

Arizona state representative Jeff Weninger introduced two measures focused on the tech last week, including one that would begin laying down ar regulatory framework for initial coin offerings (ICOs) conducted in the state.

Two new bills introduced by the representative include “virtual coin,” “blockchain” and “virtual coin offering” as new terms to be included in the Arizona government’s list of definitions, particularly as they relate to securities and crowdfunding.

Notably, the first bill defines “virtual coin” as “a digital representation of value that can be digitally traded and that functions as a medium of exchange, unit of account and store of value.”

The bill goes on to define a “virtual coin offering” as any token sale where the token is treated as a security as defined by existing Arizona law. However, tokens which are not marketed as investments and which the purchaser can utilize or redeem within 90 days, according to the bill, would sit outside that definition.

The second bill amends the Arizona Revised Statutes to account for data that is written and stored on a blockchain. In a way, the bill bears a relation to a past Weninger bill which legally recognized blockchain signatures and smart contracts, a measure that was signed into law last year.

Stepping back, the state government has made several steps in recent weeks to broaden the adoption of the tech within the state. Earlier this month, the State Senate completed work on a bill which would allow the government to collect taxes in bitcoin.

Arizona legislature image via Nagel Photography / Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Posted on

Virginia Lawmaker Calls for New Cryptocurrency Impact Study

A state senator in the U.S. state of Virginia has filed new legislation that would mandate an impact study on cryptocurrencies.

A new bill introduced by Glen Sturtevant would launch a study, which, if approved, would seek to assess how the growth of cryptocurrencies and their use impacts everyday Virginians. The bill has been sent to the State Senate’s Rules Committee for assessment, public records show.

At its heart, the measure queries whether lawmakers “should establish a system to protect the citizens of the Commonwealth from any existing or potential adverse effects from engaging in transactions involving cryptocurrencies.” The study, according to Sturtevant’s bill, would be the first step toward creating such a system.

As the bill’s text explains:

“…if it determines that the establishment of such a system is appropriate, [the Commission will] identify legislation or regulations that would establish the system. The State Corporation Commission shall complete its study and shall report its findings to the members of the General Assembly by December 1, 2018.”

It’s not entirely clear which rules or regulations Virginia might turn to should the study call for tighter controls. The State Corporation Commission is the body in Virginia responsible for approving and overseeing state-based money transmission businesses, indicating that it could ultimately move to modify or strengthen its statutes in that area.

Indeed, the technology has found fans on the local government side in Virginia. As reported last week, local officials in the city of Virginia Beach have granted funds to a bitcoin mine as part of an effort to spur job growth.

Virginia sign image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Posted on

Australian Senate Panel Throws Support Behind Crypto Exchange Bill

The Australian Senate has begun deliberating a bill that would apply the country’s anti-money laundering (AML) statutes to domestic cryptocurrency exchanges.

The bill was first unveiled in August – introduced in the House of Representatives, one of two chambers in Australia’s Parliament – revealing that lawmakers are considering approaches such as criminal penalties for unlawful exchange operators. The bill also called for the creation of a so-called “Digital Currency Exchange Register,” which if created would be managed by the Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), the Australia’s financial intelligence agency.

New public documents indicate that the Australian Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee has taken up the measure, signifying that the new rules are now being considered in both of the Parliament’s chambers. A 35-page report, published earlier this month, details the various elements of the bill, which focuses on beefing up the rules around AML and know-your-customer regulations.

Notably, the report suggests that the committee is in support of the measure, stating in its conclusion that it “recommends that the bill be passed.”

Back in August, the government said in statements at the time that the measure is intended to “close the gap” between new technologies like cryptocurrency and a set of rules in need of an update.

“The bill will … close a regulatory gap by bringing digital currency exchange providers under the remit of AUSTRAC,” officials said at the time.

It’s unclear at this time whether other committees within the Australian Senate will take up the bill.

Image Credit: FiledIMAGE / Shutterstock.com

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.