Motto for the University of Wyoming. Photo by Caitlin Long
Here’s a halftime recap for the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition’s 2019 legislative efforts.
Eight bills that are enabling to blockchain technology have already passed in their originating chamber (House or Senate) and will cross over to the other chamber (Senate or House) this week, to begin the process all over again. If the bills pass in the second chamber, they could reach Governor Gordon’s desk as early as mid-February.
The best news for Wyoming? Major companies are starting to book trips to visit Wyoming. The big players are showing particular interest in two bills that pertain to financial services, SF 125 and HB 74. Those two bills would solve real problems facing the blockchain sector and would bring jobs and revenue to Wyoming—and they’re shaping up to be potentially quite significant. One legislator referred to SF 125 as “the biggest bill in the legislature in the last decade.”
Here’s a summary of the 8 bills that remain active, listed by order of bill number. Bill numbers starting with an H or S originated (and already passed) in the House or Senate, respectively, and will be considered by the other chamber beginning this week.
Two other important bills also moving through the legislature would further benefit blockchain companies, even though their reach is much broader than blockchain. SF 159 would provide a process for Wyoming’s electric utilities to sell the coal-fired generation plants they would otherwise be permanently shutting down. This bill aims to keep the plants open, thereby supporting one of Wyoming’s biggest industries (coal). Cryptocurrency miners could be among many potential bidders for the plants, which would likely offer such miners power costs that are competitive with alternatives currently available to them from other sources around the world.
And, wrapping it all up in a bow, SF 104 would create a new Wyoming court that specializes in business disputes (a chancery court). Similar to that of Delaware and a handful of other states, the chancery court would enable businesses to avoid a jury trial and to have their cases heard in front of an experienced judge. I see this as the final missing piece for Wyoming, which invented the LLC in 1977 and ranks third in new business formations—but some businesses have avoided domiciling in Wyoming due to the lack of a business court.
Much work is left to be done before these bills become law, but we have good momentum. I’ll post a recap once the outcome is final!
Bitcoin/blockchain, ex-Wyoming Blockchain Task Force, 22-year Wall Street veteran.
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