A New York legislator has submitted a bill calling for the state to establish a task force to study the logistics and impacts of creating and issuing a state-backed cryptocurrency.
The bill, which was proposed by Assemblyman Clyde Vanel and filed on Feb. 2, would require the government to research how a state-backed cryptocurrency would impact monetary policy and financial stability both in and out of New York, as well as:
“….the necessary steps the state of New York must take to produce and release a state-issued cryptocurrency and how such will affect the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission’s jurisdiction over economic transactions….”
That the bill would require the government to explore the steps necessary to issue its own cryptocurrency would likely raise constitutional as well as logistical questions because the Constitution restricts states from coining money or making “any thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.”
If the measure is enacted, the task force would have one year to submit a report detailing its findings.
This is not the first time that Assemblyman Vanel has introduced blockchain-related bills to the legislature. Last year, he proposed measures which would have mandated that elections officials study whether the technology would improve the integrity of state and local elections, as well as a bill that would have required the state to draft a legal understanding of digital signatures stored on a blockchain.
This may be the first instance of a US state seeking to issue its own cryptocurrency, but other states have debated measures that would have normalized the use of Bitcoin and other decentralized cryptocurrencies.
A group of Arizona legislators, for instance, recently introduced a bill that would allow residents to make income tax payments using cryptocurrencies, which the government would then convent into fiat currency.
Last month, this bill passed the state Senate Finance Committee on a party-line vote, with four Republicans voting in favor of the proposal and three Democrats voting against it.
As of the time of writing, the bill was scheduled to receive a hearing before the Senate Rules Committee on Feb. 5.
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