In a significant move last year, the US State of Wyoming introduced a bill that aimed to clarify the legal position of digital assets, as well as offer digital asset custody though banks rather than financial institutions. That bill has now passed and will go into effect on March 1.
Sponsored by Republican Senator Tara Nethercott of Cheyenne, the bill will establish property rights for owners of cryptocurrency and other virtual assets under commercial law, clarifying the legal status of digital money. It also helps banks hold these assets in trusts. It would subject cryptocurrency to some of the same rules as money by expanding existing laws.
“It adds value and legitimacy to the currency by giving financial institutions and businesses the ability to use it more flexibly in ways they are already familiar with”, said Nethercott.
Wyoming Recognises Virtual Currency Is Intangible Personal Property
It will place crypto assets into three categories, digital consumer assets, virtual currencies and digital securities and refers to article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). This code, which lists rules on secured transactions, states: “Virtual currency is intangible personal property and shall be considered money…only for the purposes of article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, title 34.1, Wyoming statutes”.
The bill states that digital consumer assets are intangible personal property and shall be considered “general intangibles” and that digital securities are intangible personal property and shall be considered “securities”.
The bill will allow banks to hold digital assets in trusts with ease. Customers will be unable to deposit bitcoin into the bank itself, but they will be able to keep it in their personal trust as “property”.
The State of Wyoming is not only streaks ahead in the US when it comes to showcasing its continued commitment to becoming the country’s crypto heart, it also leads the rest of the world, where many countries are still unable to define where and how cryptocurrency fits into their economies.