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Arizona senator pushes bill to recognize Bitcoin legal tender in the state


finbold.com 25 January 2023 13:52, UTC
Reading time: ~2 m

Arizona state Senator Wendy Rogers has reintroduced a set of bills aimed at making Bitcoin (BTC) legal tender and allowing state agencies to accept the digital currency as a form of payment.

If passed, the bill introduced on January 25 would make Arizona the first state in the United States to recognize Bitcoin as a legal form of currency officially. The bill has been co-sponsored by other Republican Party leaders from Arizona.

In announcing the bill’s launch, the lawmaker cited a recent report by banking giant Goldman Sachs indicating that Bitcoin is the best-performing asset in 2023.

“Breaking: #Bitcoin is the best performing asset in the world this year according to data from Goldman Sachs.”

Launched my #Crypto bills today, as well as Photo Radar Prohibition, which included nearly all my Republican senator colleagues as cosponsors @JeffWeninger @JDMesnard pic.twitter.com/ueUeFSEybo

— Wendy Rogers (@WendyRogersAZ) January 25, 2023

Uncertainty on passing the bill

However, the bill’s passage remains to be determined, as the United States Constitution does not allow individual states to create their own legal tender. Interestingly, the bill’s contents referenced Bitcoin’s ability to operate independently from central bank interference.

The 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.”

If the bill is recognized as law, it will allow state agencies to enter into agreements with cryptocurrency issuers to accept Bitcoin as a payment method for taxes, fines, fees, and other financial obligations.

This is the second time that Senator Rogers has attempted to introduce such legislation in the state, with the first attempt having been made in January 2022, although it did not pass the second reading.

The reintroduction of these bills highlights lawmakers’ growing interest in cryptocurrencies and comes at a time when there is renewed debate on the sector’s regulations. Notably, the U.S. Congress has several pending bills meant to regulate crypto.

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