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Wyoming continues its nation-leading crusade into crypto

A pile of cryptocurrencies represented on a chess board.
Ivan Radic
Flickr Creative Commons

Wyoming lawmakers passed two new crypto-friendly laws during the 67th legislative budget session, and they’ve enacted about 30 since 2019. The Cowboy State continues to try and attract business from companies interested in blockchain, which is the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

One law, which has already been signed by Gov. Mark Gordon, provides a legal framework for Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs). This structure will set DAOs apart from traditional corporations, such as LLCs, and it could make Wyoming a major hub for crypto and other tech companies – similar to Delaware in the corporate world.

Several members of the blockchain industry have already praised this law, and proponents of it say it helps decentralize business and communication, particularly on the Internet.

“If you look at just Internet traffic broadly, we're been on this trend where the majority of it is really being either influenced or outright controlled by a small handful of some of these mega tech companies,” said Cyrus Western (R-Big Horn) during recent testimony. “This kind of decentralized technology approach using blockchain technology provides an alternative.”

Western said allowing firms to register in Wyoming could eventually provide the state with jobs, tax revenues and other forms of economic development. The law will come into effect on July 1.

The legislature also passed amendments – which Gordon has not signed yet – to the Wyoming Stable Token Act of 2023. This builds off of the state’s effort to create the first government-issued stable coin in the U.S.

The token creation process was delayed until later this year, but it's another first-of-its kind law that Wyoming politicians hope contributes to the state's strong crypto reputation. Theoretically, this could help make Wyoming a new center for a fast, cheap and secure digital economy, though many details and regulations have yet to surface.

Will Walkey is a contributing journalist and former reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. Through 2023, Will was WPR's regional reporter with the Mountain West News Bureau. He first arrived in Wyoming in 2020, where he covered Teton County for KHOL 89.1 FM in Jackson. His work has aired on NPR and numerous member stations throughout the Rockies, and his story on elk feedgrounds in Western Wyoming won a regional Murrow award in 2021.

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