Wyoming lawmakers introduce legislation for state-issued stablecoin

Four members of the Wyoming Legislature have sponsored a bill which would allow the state treasurer to issue a stablecoin.

On Thursday, Wyoming State Senators Chris Rothfuss and Tara Nethercott with House Representatives Jared Olsen and Mike Yin introduced Senate File SF0106, titled the “Wyoming Stable Token Act.” If signed into law, the bill would authorize the treasurer to issue a U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoin redeemable for fiat held in an account by the state.

The state treasurer — Curtis Meier at the time of publication — would consult with the department’s Investment Funds Committee and have the authority to hire “accountants, auditors, consultants and other experts” to issue the coins, as well as stipulate limitations and rules. State officials would have until Dec. 31 to issue the stablecoin, with the option to submit a report by Nov. 1 if such an offering were determined to be “incompatible federal or state law.”

Caitlin Long, CEO of Avanti Financial — which is headquartered in Wyoming — weighed in on the legislation, saying there were pros and cons to the bill, but it was “definitely a conversation-starter” for lawmakers exploring stablecoins. Long has previously described stablecoins as “very important bridges between crypto and the U.S. dollar” in need of regulatory clarity.

“It’s a mind-bender,” said Long in reference to the proposed stablecoin. “Akin to a muni bond that neither pays interest nor has a maturity date but is redeemable — except it isn’t exactly that bc, as a token, there would be big legal & structural/settlement differences.”

Rothfuss chairs Wyoming’s Select Committee on Blockchain, Financial Technology and Digital Innovation Technology, a group formed in May 2020 to examine crypto and blockchain developments and able to sponsor related legislation. Since taking office, Nethercott, Olsen, Rothfuss, and other Wyoming lawmakers previously sponsored a bill suggesting cryptocurrencies be exempt from state property taxes and two others on tokenization and issues with compliance.

Related: Wyoming’s crypto-friendly bill could be a sandbox in action, Sen. Lummis says

Wyoming has often been at the forefront of a state-centered approach to crypto regulation with many pieces of legislation seemingly favorable to the space and a U.S. Senator who holds Bitcoin (BTC), Cynthia Lummis. Kraken became the first crypto business to receive a Wyoming bank charter in September 2020, with the State Banking Board later approving a charter for Avanti.

As of Feb. 17, the Wyoming Stable Token Act has been sent to the Joint Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee.

Cointelegraph reached out to Wyoming State Senator Chris Rothfuss, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

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