Arizona just might be the most cryptocurrency-friendly state in the nation. Important legislation has successfully made its way through the Ways and Means Committee of the Arizona House of Representatives this week and seems on track to be formally passed into law.
Formally designated as SB1091, this new set of rules would make it legal for Arizonans to pay their income tax with bitcoin. The bill now needs to pass the state legislature. Coindesk called this week’s development “a big vote of confidence.” With strong Republican support, political and crypto pundits alike seem sure this bill will become formal law.
The motivation for this bill isn’t an overwhelming demand to pay taxes using bitcoin. Rather, it’s to bolster gun-friendly/immigrant unfriendly Arizona’s image to the tech world.
It’s no longer just brands and companies wanting to demonstrate some hip awareness of the blockchain; now it’s government regulatory agencies too. When business entities adopt blockchain publicity techniques, they do so to win attention from consumers. Arizona is hoping to entice companies to set up shop in the state and help drive its economy.
Arizona representative Jeff Weninger is one of the bill’s sponsors. He told Fox News that “[this is] one of a litany of bills that we’re running [to send] a signal to everyone in the United States, and possibly throughout the world, that Arizona is going to be the place to be for blockchain and digital currency technology in the future.”
There is of course a specific procedure to follow when residents pay their tax via crypto. Importantly, the Arizona government isn’t allowed to build a stash of crypto assets. Every bitcoin sent its way must be converted to American dollars within 24 hours, a rule that seems likely to resonate with other states investigating crypto tax payments.
And there are some! Arizona seems positioned to be the first to formally implement, but Georgia, Illinois, and Wyoming all have legislation in various stages of completion seeking to mainstream cryptocurrency, even slightly. Wyoming’s law may see crypto holdings be free of property tax and securities regulations, while Georgia and Illinois may be collecting taxes via crypto.
In every case, cryptocurrency demonstrates a rise in our collective consciousness. What used to be talked about among highly technical in-crowds is now slowly being adopted to help turn the big and slow gears of government.