Despite the US federal law prohibiting states from creating their own currencies, a state senator has introduced a bill in Arizona that would make bitcoin legal tender. The bill could spark an interesting debate.
Senate Republican Wendy Rogers has introduced a draft bill numbered SB 1341 seeking legal status for bitcoin as a transactional currency. Grand Canyon state will be the first US state to consider this development if it is discussed in the state senate and house of representatives, for which a date has not been fixed yet.
A legal tender is defined in the bill introduced by Sen. Rogers as “any medium of exchange authorized by the United States Constitution or Congress for the payment of debts, public charges, taxes, and dues.”.
Also continued, Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer, decentralized digital currency in which the Bitcoin blockchain holds records of transactions and new units of currency are generated by solving 21 mathematical problems independently from a central bank authority.
As recently as September of last year, an Arizonian Senator had tweeted that she was working to make Arizona crypto-friendly. Rogers is one of three members of the three-member Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Study Committee appointed on December 31, 2021. The committee’s term will end on December 31, 2022, when the report is due.
The move to introduce a bill-making bitcoin legal tender will likely lead to a fresh round of debate about bitcoin’s acceptance and adoption in the country.
A survey reported in September 2021 indicated that 30% of swing-state voters supported the legalization of cryptocurrencies. Among the ten swing states, 37% of residents in Texas and Wisconsin support bitcoin as a legal tender, compared with 25% in Arizona, which featured in the survey conducted by the London-based polling and market-research firm Redfield & Wilton Strategies.
At present, only El Salvador accepts bitcoin as a legal tender. However, former Tonga parliamentarian Lord Fusitua claims that Tonga will accept bitcoin in November.