Arizona Senator Proposes a Bill to Make Bitcoin Legal in the State
- US lawmakers have shown increased interest in Bitcoin and blockchain technology.
- Senator Wendy Rogers first proposed the Bitcoin bill in January 2022, but it failed to pass first reading.
- States are not permitted to have individual legal tenders under US laws.
Wendy Rogers, an Arizona state senator, has proposed a series of bills that would make bitcoin legal tender in the state and allow state agencies to recognize it. While announcing the bill, the lawmaker referenced a recent report by financial titan Goldman Sachs, which claimed that Bitcoin would be the best-performing asset in 2023.
According to the legal tender bill, Bitcoin is “a decentralized, peer-to-peer digital currency in which a record of transactions is maintained on the Bitcoin blockchain and new units of currency are generated by the computational solution of mathematical problems and that operates independently of a central bank.”
“Breaking: #Bitcoin is the best performing asset in the world this year according to data from Goldman Sachs.”— Wendy Rogers (@WendyRogersAZ) January 25, 2023
Launched my #Crypto bills today, as well as Photo Radar Prohibition, which included nearly all my Republican senator colleagues as cosponsors @JeffWeninger @JDMesnard pic.twitter.com/ueUeFSEybo
If the bill goes through and Bitcoin becomes a legal tender in Arizona, residents will be able to use the cryptocurrency to settle debts, taxes, and other financial commitments. As a result, both individual users and organizations will have the flexibility to use bitcoin for any transactions that are currently done in U.S. dollars.
If the bill is passed, Arizona will be the first state in the US to formally recognize Bitcoin as legal tender. Other Arizona officials of the Republican Party have co-sponsored the bill. However, there are several barriers to the bill’s passage. For example, the US Constitution forbids individual states from establishing their own legal tender.
This will be Senator Roger’s second attempt at introducing such a proposal. The first, which was made in January 2022, failed to clear the second reading. However, Senator Roger’s support of Bitcoin mirrors the growing interest US lawmakers have in cryptocurrencies and their demand to see the industry regulated.
US states such as Texas have also shown great interest in bitcoin. Only time will tell if the US will follow El Salvador in recognizing Bitcoin as legal tender.