Tennessee Lawmaker Introduces Bill that Would Allow the State to Invest in Cryptocurrency & NFTs

by Eva Fox February 10, 2022

Tennessee Lawmaker Introduces Bill that Would Allow the State to Invest in Cryptocurrency & NFTs

Photo: Family Action Council of Tennessee

On February 2, two bills were introduced that propose allowing the state of Tennessee, as well as its counties and municipalities, to invest in cryptocurrencies and NFTs, as well as creating a committee to study cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

Jason Powell, a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, has introduced a bill proposing counties, municipalities, and the state to invest in cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens (NFT), according to Cointelegraph. Under a bill from the Tennessee House of Representatives, Powell proposed amending the state's current code to add cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and NFTs to the list of permitted investments they can make with idle funds. On February 8, lawmakers sent the bill to the House Finance, Ways, and Means Subcommittee for further consideration.

“I want to see if my state and my city — I represent Nashville — can be a leader when it comes to blockchain technology,” Powell told Cointelegraph. “I think it’s important to promote legislation that creates a pro-blockchain environment.”

The legislation was the second related to crypto and blockchain introduced by Powell. The same day, he asked Tennessee lawmakers to consider forming a study committee aimed at making the state “the most forward thinking and pro-business state for cryptocurrency and blockchain and to foster a positive economic environment for blockchain and cryptocurrency.” If the bill passes the legislature, a state commissioner of commerce and insurance, currently Carter Lawrence, will be appointed to chair the committee with members including a representative with “experience or knowledge in cryptocurrency” and another with knowledge of federal securities laws.

Among the proposed study committee's duties would be to review data on crypto and blockchain across the US, determine the status of laws applicable to the crypto space, study NFT use cases and regulations, open a dialogue with industry experts, and present recommendations on potential legislation to promote Tennessee as a blockchain and crypto hub. The group’s first report would be due by December 31, 2022, with the law expected to take effect by July 1 if approved by lawmakers.

Powell also proposed a caption bill which would direct the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations to conduct a similar study on crypto and blockchain laws across the U.S. states, and hinted at legislation which would strengthen the state's campaign finance laws to include developments in the crypto space, like nonfungible tokens.

“This is an issue that I've been interested in working on for the last four years,” said Powell. “I think that we've come a long way, and [want to] make sure that Tennessee stays ahead of the curve.”

Powell said he personally didn't want to “wait for Washington D.C. to decide” how to address crypto and would work to make his state attractive to innovators.
“I think it’s really important to be out there and embracing blockchain, embracing new technology, promoting anything we can do with companies that are in the fintech space to want to be in Nashville, want to be in Tennessee.”

© 2022, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.

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Article edited by @SmokeyShorts, you can follow him on Twitter









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