A bill introduced by Sen. Wendy Rogers reflects a growing interest in bitcoin from U.S. states.
State Sen. Wendy Rogers (R-AZ) has introduced a set of bills aimed at making bitcoin legal tender in Arizona and allowing state agencies to accept bitcoin.
As Bitcoin Magazine's 'BTCCasey' reports, the proposed legislation aims to recognize bitcoin as a legal form of currency in Arizona, allowing it to be used to pay for debts, taxes, and other financial obligations.
This would mean that all transactions that are currently done in U.S. dollars could potentially be done with bitcoin, and individuals and businesses would have the option to use bitcoin as they see fit.
Specifically mentioning bitcoin alone, the legal tender bill defines bitcoin as, “the 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.”
The acceptance bill is broader, saying that, “A state agency may enter into an agreement with a cryptocurrency issuer to provide a method to accept cryptocurrency as a payment method of fines, civil penalties or other penalties, rent, rates, taxes, fees, charges, revenue, financial obligations, and special assessments to pay any amount due to that agency or this state.”
Additionally, as CoinTelegraph reports, in legislation introduced in the first session of the Arizona State Senate in 2023, Senators Rogers, Borrelli, and Wadsack proposed having Arizona residents decide on amending the state’s constitution in regard to crypto and property taxes.
Should the measure pass the legislature, voters could choose in November 2024 to make virtual currency — specifically tokens that are not “a representation of the United States dollar or a foreign currency” - tax-exempt.
Under Arizona’s constitution, all federal, state, county, and municipal property are tax exempt, as are public debts, many household goods, and certain “stocks of raw or finished materials, unassembled parts, works in process or finished products”.
Data from the Arizona Secretary of State indicates that there were more than 4 million registered voters in the November 2022 general election, with the state leaning slightly Republican.
This is the second time that Sen. Rogers has introduced a bill aimed at making bitcoin legal tender in her state. She introduced the same amendment in January 2022, which died by the second reading.
Although it may appear there are slim chances of the bill passing this time, El Salvador’s adoption of bitcoin as a legal tender has proven to be a boon for growth and investment in the country.
Recent actions in states like Texas, New Hampshire, Missouri, and Mississippi all indicate increasing U.S. state interest in bitcoin and its benefits.
As bitcoin adoption strengthens, the likelihood of such bills passing will only increase.