Tennessee – A legislation seeking to recognize cryptocurrencies as a legal tender and legitimize smart contracts for digital transactions was recently introduced by Nashville democratic representative Jim Powell.
On January 24, Powell has proposed the bill before the Tennessee House of Representatives, stating that:
“We are not just competing with other states in the technology and the space, we’re competing with the world … it is really important to say that Tennessee is supportive of this technology and we want to be a leader in this innovation.”
Furthermore, Powell is additionally analyzing potential conflicts that may arise between states which have yet to legitimize cryptocurrencies.
As has been observed in the past, conflicts are often seen between state and federal legislation in the US. Such is the case of legalizing marijuana distribution where around half of the states have enacted the law, while the Federal law remains divided over the measure.
Currently, the legitimacy of digital currencies in the USA between federal and state regulatory boards is still subject for debate.
At present, the US treasury department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), an agency that primarily oversees illicit financial transactions, has rendered digital currencies as money-transmission services.
In contrast, other financial regulatory boards have so far been ambivalent over recognizing digital currencies, among which include the US Commodities Trading Commission (CFTC) under the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
As has been observed across the globe, financial regulations encompassing cryptocurrencies remain subjective, varying from one state to the next. Case in point, while California and New York have been implementing more stringent regulatory measures on digital currency exchanges, Switzerland is much less restrictive with their policies on digital currency trading. As for states such as Montana and New Mexico, financial transactions are not governed by any established regulations at all.
According to Coin Center’s executive director, Jerry Brito:
“Federal oversight could be an opportunity to fix broken state-by-state money transmission licensing.”
Currently, digital currency exchanges have not been outlawed by the state of Tennessee. Powell’s move to legitimize these transactions aims to ensure that that does not change. The bill marks the latest among other recent legislative efforts seen in the state.