Virginia passes crypto-friendly bill to foster blockchain expansion

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The Virginia Senate in the United States passed a landmark bill that would lead to the creation of a workgroup dedicated to studying the overall crypto ecosystem and making recommendations to foster the tech’s expansion. 

On Feb. 5, Virginia lawmakers introduced Senate Bill No. 339 with the intent to get recommendations on fostering and expanding blockchain technology, digital asset mining, and cryptocurrency in the state.

Virginia House passed the bill on March 4 with a majority support of 97 yeas, one nay and two choosing to abstain from voting.

A snippet of the U.S. Virginia Senate Bill No. 339. Source: lis.virginia.gov

Senator Saddam Azlan Salim proposed the bill on Jan. 9, which aims to exempt miners from obtaining money transmitter licenses and prohibits targeted ordinances:

“No license under this chapter shall be required of any person engaging in-home digital asset 37 mining, digital asset mining, or digital asset mining business activities, as those terms are defined in § 38 15.2-2288.9.”

The upcoming crypto work group will consist of 13 members — five from the Senate, five from the House of Delegates, two nonlegislative citizen members from the blockchain industry and one nonlegislative citizen representing the local government.

The group has been given a deadline of Nov. 1, 2024, to conclude all of its studies related to the cryptocurrency ecosystem and share recommendations “no later than the first day of the 2025 Regular Session of the General Assembly.”

Related: U.S. Virginia introduces bill to protect digital assets mining rights

While other U.S. states, such as New York and Florida, rank higher in promoting various aspects of crypto, the state is home to one of the largest investors interested in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).

Top 10 U.S. states with the most Bitcoin and Ethereum web page traffic. Source: CoinGecko

In a report shared by CoinGecko, internet users from California accounted for 43% of all Bitcoin and Ethereum web traffic searches on the crypto tracking website. Other states with a strong interest in the two cryptocurrencies include Illinois and Washington, followed by Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Georgia and Arizona.

A recent Virginia proposal sought the allocation of a yearly general fund of $22,048 and $17,192, respectively, to the two newly formed commissions on artificial intelligence and cryptocurrency in the state of Virginia.

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