Virginia Senate Passes Bill to Study Crypto Ecosystem

The Virginia Senate in the United States has passed a significant bill that paves the way for the establishment of a dedicated workgroup tasked with studying the overall cryptocurrency ecosystem and making recommendations to support its growth. Introduced as Senate Bill No. 339 on Feb. 5, the bill seeks to gather recommendations on fostering and expanding blockchain technology, digital asset mining, and cryptocurrency within the state.

Senator Saddam Azlan Salim proposed the bill on Jan. 9, aiming to exempt miners from the requirement to obtain money transmitter licenses and to prohibit targeted ordinances affecting digital asset mining activities. The bill received overwhelming support in the Virginia House, with 97 yeas, one nay, and two abstentions, leading to its passage on March 4.

The proposed crypto workgroup will comprise 13 members, including representatives from the Senate, the House of Delegates, the blockchain industry, and local government. With a deadline of Nov. 1, 2024, the group is tasked with conducting comprehensive studies on the cryptocurrency ecosystem and presenting recommendations before the 2025 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

Virginia’s interest in cryptocurrencies is underscored by its significant investment presence in assets like Bitcoin and Ether. While states like New York and Florida are known for their crypto promotion, Virginia hosts a considerable number of investors in Bitcoin and Ether, as indicated by web traffic data. California leads in Bitcoin and Ethereum web traffic searches, followed by states like Illinois, Washington, Pennsylvania, Texas, Georgia, and Arizona.

Moreover, Virginia has shown a commitment to advancing its understanding and regulation of emerging technologies by allocating funds to newly formed commissions on artificial intelligence and cryptocurrency. This proactive approach highlights the state’s recognition of the importance of fostering innovation while ensuring regulatory oversight.