The State of Wyoming Appropriates $4M to Staking Program for At Least 3 Cryptocurrencies

The State of Wyoming Appropriates $4M to Staking Program for At Least 3 Cryptocurrencies

The state of Wyoming continues to drive cryptocurrency adoption, and the latest development in the area is creating a cryptocurrency staking program, advisory council, and appropriating $4 million towards it.

As per the latest Bill HB0001 regarding the increasing or decreasing the existing appropriations for the operation of state government for the period of July 1, 2020, and ending June 30, 2022, the University of Wyoming Cryptocurrency Staking Program has been introduced.

The bill appropriates four million dollars ($4,000,000) from the strategic investments and projects account to the University of Wyoming to operate and maintain nodes and staking pools for at least three publicly tradable cryptocurrencies.

Interestingly, the second-largest cryptocurrency Ethereum is currently underway to be fully shifted from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS), and already 4,026,082 ETH, worth $10.68 million, have been deposited in ETH 2.0 for staking.

The university has to provide public access to the staking pools and nodes and facilitate the operation of the blockchains.

All the fees and revenues generated from this operation will cover any costs of operation and administration. Any excess shall be deposited in the strategic investments and projects that will be used to support blockchain programs and activities at the university and community colleges in the state.

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Author: AnTy

Crypto-Friendly Wyoming Officially Gives DAOs Legal Status as LLCs, Effective July 1st

Crypto-Friendly Wyoming Officially Gives DAOs Legal Status as LLCs, Effective July 1st

Just last month, the crypto-forward state passed a bill entitled Decentralized Autonomous Organizations Supplement that clarifies the legal status of DAOs, becoming the first state in the US to do so.

A DAO is an organization managed by rules encoded as a computer program, including automated smart contracts that automate organizational governance and decision-making.

Wyoming aims to give DAOs a legal status as limited liability companies but says that for DAOs to achieve mass adoption, technical limitations need to be addressed.

Last month, the bill was passed by the senate and introduced to the House of Representatives. Now, Wyoming has made history.

Wyoming’s DAO law solves the problem of joint-&-several liability for all participants in a DAO. If the DAO were ever deemed by a court to be a general partnership, new law handles this by applying LLC liability protections to DAOs that meet the requirements, said Caitlin Long, founder, and CEO of Avanti Trust and Bank.

The key here is that, unlike regular LLCs, the Wyoming Secretary of State can yank the liability protection from a DAO that commits fraud or engages in illegal activities, unlike with a regular LLC; as such, it is only useful for valid DAOs, she added.

This is not the first time Wyoming is leading in the regulation of digital assets. The state has awarded its special-purpose depository institution (SPDI) charter to two digital asset companies Avanti Bank and Kraken Bank.

Besides passing 23 blockchain-enabling laws, Wyoming gave Bitcoin, Ether, and other cryptos clear legal protection as property under commercial law.

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Author: AnTy

Senate Committee Approves Wyoming Bill; One Step Closer to Giving DAO Legal Standing

Senate Committee Approves Wyoming Bill; One Step Closer to Giving DAO Legal Standing

Wyoming ranks as one of the most forward-thinking states in developing and improving legislation on a blockchain. Once again, the state aims to make history in this regard as the Senate committee approved a bill recognizing decentralized autonomous organizations, or popularly known as DAOs, as companies.

The law is currently in Wyoming’s House of Representatives and, if passed without amendments, will become the first state to recognize decentralized governance systems.

DAOs employ decentralized governance using smart contracts. These platforms function without a hierarchy, whereby everyone on the platform has equal control over the decisions and voting processes. According to OpenLaw’s Aaron Wright, who was involved in drafting the bill, the law, if implemented, will boost the overall participation of DAOs in the state. He tweeted,

“Well-intentioned DAO creators will have tremendous freedom to structure their affairs using any mix of statutory filings, legal agreements, or smart contracts to organize.”

“This flexibility will give folks the ability to play with governance and DAO structuring productively.”

This will also add legitimacy to these DAOs and cryptocurrency projects, allowing them to operate as Limited Liability Companies (LLCs). However, the bill still has some straightening on pertinent issues around cryptocurrencies and blockchains, Wright said.

Issues surrounding the DAO’s interests, their tokens, and whether their tokens classify as securities need to be solved before they can be passed to law.

Preston Bryne, partner at Anderson Kill Law and a member at Adam Smith Institute, however, called for the bill to be scrapped as it could encourage scam companies’ formation. In a short thread on Twitter, Bryne wrote,

“Wyoming; scrap this bill. “DAO” is language long used by token hawkers to justify selling shitcoins and half-baked code. They don’t incorporate an LLC because they don’t want to KYC their members and be responsible for what the DAOs do. Don’t enable this behavior.”

He further explains that DAOs do not need to be licensed companies due to management issues that arise from voters being anonymous.

“Companies are supposed to be made up of and managed by people. They exist to protect people working in concert.”

“DAOs, at least to date, protect their members by obfuscation and anonymity. The state doesn’t need to step in here to grant them a corporate veil.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

State of Wyoming Drafts Bill to Develop a Blockchain-Based Commercial Filing System

State of Wyoming Drafts Bill to Develop a Blockchain-Based Commercial Filing System

Wyoming’s blockchain-friendly state drafts a bill to launch a commercial filing system update built on blockchain technology. The bill aims to authorize the secretary of state to develop and implement a system for company filings on distributed ledgers.

According to the new bill, Wyoming’s state will implement blockchain as the base technological framework for filing systems by December 31, 2021. The system aims to enhance the transparency and security of filing systems across corporations, partnerships, and associations. Companies in Wyoming will now fill in data, file reports, and information on the blockchain-based system as required by law.

Additionally, the filing system will also include APIs, increased security measures, authenticated digital corporate identity, and other features targeting to enhance efficient administration of laws in the state, the bill further states.

A definite development procedure is yet to be set, but the system can either be built from scratch or use privately created blockchain or other DLTs.

Before being tabled in the house, the bill invites consultation from businesses, individuals, and other states before implementation.

Following the election of crypto-friendly Cynthia Lummis to the US Senate, the State of Wyoming looks like the likely destination for crypto companies to settle in, as rules and laws favor the growth of the industry.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Andrew Yang Wants to Make New York a Hub for Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies

Andrew Yang Wants to Make New York a Hub for Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies

First Wyoming, then Miami, and now New York, cryptocurrency adoption is rapidly growing.

As we reported, Miami Mayor, Francis Suarez, is working hard on getting the city to lead in technology advancement, and as such, he had gone full-on Bitcoin by enabling the employees to be paid in Bitcoin, taxes and resident fees to be filed in BTC and even putting the digital currency in the city’s Treasury.

But New York might soon compete with Miami to attract the crypto crowd.

Andrew Yang, who is running a campaign to be New York Mayor, and according to a new poll released Wednesday, is actually commanding a double-digit lead in the Democratic primary for mayor, has some big crypto plans for the city as well.

In December last year, Yang, an entrepreneur, and former Presidential candidate, officially filed paperwork to run for New York City mayor. This week, he shared his intention to make the city a bitcoin hub if elected. Yang tweeted,

“As mayor of NYC – the world’s financial capital – I would invest in making the city a hub for BTC and other cryptocurrencies.”

Yang has previously praised cryptocurrencies and advocated for clear regulations surrounding the sector.

New York’s State Department of Financial Services actually introduced BitLicense for businesses dealing in digital assets and granted several during the period of 2015 and 2019.

However, the crypto community isn’t really in support of this license, and even a lawsuit has been filed against NYDFS to abolish BitLicense because it created a “complex and burdensome” set of requirements.

“End the bitlicense,” replied Neeraj K. Agrawal of crypto policy think tank Coin Center to Yang’s tweet on Wednesday.

“Have seen countless companies leave NYC as a result of the overly arduous process, or not enter the market in the first place,” voiced Elizabeth Stark, the co-founder, and CEO of Lightning Labs, in support of Agrawal.

Yang is not the only Bitcoin proponent who is running for Mayor; Bitcoiner Chamath Palihapitiya, as we reported, has also been running a campaign to be California’s governor.

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Author: AnTy

Senator-Elect Urges Treasury Secretary to ‘Engage with Industry” & Against ‘Hasty’ Wallet Regulations

U.S. Senator-elect from Wyoming, Cynthia Lummis, shares her “deep” concerns with the Treasury Department considering “a hasty rule” to govern the self-hosted digital asset wallets and the Bank Secrecy Act.

Ever since Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong first tweeted last month about Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin planning on imposing new restrictions on businesses that interact with these self-hosted wallets like exchanges, the market has been abuzz with uncertainty and some fear.

As we reported a week ago, several US lawmakers also sent a letter to the Treasury Secretary, expressing their concern about these rumored regulations, saying they will “crush a nascent industry” and “hinder American leadership.”

Now, Bitcoin-friendly and holder Cynthia Lummis has come out in support of the crypto industry, calling for the Treasury to not be in a rush in “America’s battle for competitiveness with China and Russia for the future of finance.” She urged the Treasury to “realize the transformative effects of digital assets.”Lummis added,

“Rather than prematurely adopting a rule on this complex topic, Treasury should immediately begin a transparent process to engage with Congress and industry, building a consensus to drive America forward.”

Lummis has spoken with Secretary Mnuchin and “strongly pressed him for a better path forward.” Congress needs to weigh the competing policy issues that are at stake, she said. “Let the sunshine in, Mr. Secretary,” Lummis added.

Digital assets like Bitcoin, whose hallmark feature is to conduct transactions without intermediaries, promote “financial inclusion and freedom.” And “a rule adopted at this juncture would be a solution in search of a problem,” said Lummis.

Last week, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) also opened positions for two “Strategic Policy Officers” that will assist in providing advice and assist in developing policy responses to risks, threats, and challenges posed by digital assets.

The Block illustrated that these regulations could involve requiring crypto companies, as early as Friday, to report on the transactions larger than $10k to or from a self-hosted crypto wallet in a day. Market expert Matt Odell said,

“I already assumed they did this tbh. The concerns Armstrong and Davidson voiced seemed to expect much worse. Maybe the public concern helped. Very bullish if true.”

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Author: AnTy

“Bitcoin Is The ‘Backdrop’ To A Failing US Dollar,” Says Wyoming Senator-Elect

  • Wyoming U.S. Senate elect Cynthia Lummis backs Bitcoin as the backstop to a failing dollar.
  • She further looks to educate other Senate members on the innovation.
  • Wyoming is the benchmark state in blockchain and crypto adoption across the U.S.

Global economies continue dealing with the black swan event, the Corona Virus pandemic, which has seen governments pumping trillions of dollars into the economy to keep them afloat. However, analysts and experts in the field are worried about the effect this could have on the fiat currencies in use worldwide as inflation increases.

In case the systems fail, Cynthia Lummis, the first woman to be elected to the Senate from Wyoming, believes Bitcoin will be the ‘backdrop’ for the U.S. economy and is ready to educate the Senate on the technology.

In a recent interview on Peter McCormack’s What Bitcoin Did? Podcast, Lummis said,

“If we reach the point where we have overspent so much that things start crashing down, the black swan event occurs with regard to any fiat currency — whether it’s ours or yours or China’s or Japan’s — that there is a backstop available to every government in the world, and that backstop is Bitcoin.”

The election of a Bitcoiner to the Senate is just part of the state’s steps to promote crypto and blockchain adoption. In September, Wyoming regulators approved Kraken banking state license making it the first crypto bank across the U.S., then shortly added Avanti as the second-ever crypto ban in October.

Notwithstanding, the state regulators also allowed insurance companies to start investing in Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies on July 1, setting a benchmark for other states in the U.S. Lummis said in the podcast,

“It should not surprise anyone that Wyoming has become the leader in policy toward Bitcoin and creating state policies that has nurtured our ability to actually charter banks that can transact banking business in Bitcoin.”

She further wants to spread the Bitcoin gospel to other Senate members once the senators are sworn in this January. Lummis aims to educate the other senators on how Bitcoin can be used alongside the dollar in debt recovery and qualities to make the dollar stronger. With the U.S. national debt skyrocketing past $27 trillion, as of writing, Lummis believes it could be unsustainable in the coming future, but Bitcoin could offer a solution. Lummis said,

“I really want to use my time in the US Senate in part to help introduce the topic of Bitcoin.”

“Increase the understanding in the Senate about Bitcoin, what it is, what it does, how it can be an asset that can grow and develop as an adjunct, so basically develop alongside our fiat currency.”

She claims that Bitcoin’s set policies could do a better job than the Fed is doing as inflation spikes up, killing the dollar’s purchasing power. She stated in the podcast,

“In the case of US currency, inflation is baked into the Federal Reserve’s plan for the US dollar. So it’s no wonder that our buying power is eroded”

In her quest to bring Bitcoin adoption to Senate and the people, Lummis has appointed former Wyoming State Representative and co-chair of the Wyoming Blockchain Task Force, Tyler Lindholm as the state policy director of Wyoming.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Wyoming Elects Bitcoiner Cynthia Lummis to US Senate

Wyoming voters have elected former congresswoman and bitcoiner Cynthia Lummis to the US Senate.

Lummis will be the first member of the Congress’s upper chambers to own BTC, at least to declare so publicly, which she first bought in 2013.

Members of the House of Representatives, like the former chair of the Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte, have disclosed in the past that they own crypto but no US Senator, until now.

Meanwhile, Lummis’s home state is establishing as a haven for crypto businesses. The state has passed several crypto favorable laws and recently granted charters to two businesses to become crypto banks.

“In typical Wyoming fashion, we’re sending someone to D.C. who respects individual rights, and especially the right to keep the fruits of our labor. Cynthia believes in the philosophy behind Bitcoin, not just that it is a new asset class,” said Caitlin Long, the CEO of one of the crypto banks, Avanti Financial, in an interview.

She predicted that Lummis would advocate for the crypto industry and tweeted, “(Lummis) LOVES what Wyoming did in crypto—publicly said tonight that she wants to defend it against federal encroachment.”

Although the fast-growing crypto industry has got a bitcoiner on its side, the market, which is extremely excited, shouldn’t expect major changes to be coming anytime soon. The industry faces significant regulatory headwinds in the form of taxation and is seen as a vehicle for money-laundering.

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Author: AnTy

After Kraken, Avanti Granted the License to Become a Crypto Bank by Wyoming State Regulator

The first one was Kraken, and now another crypto bank is here. The Wyoming State Banking Board granted Avanti Bank & Trust a bank charter with 8-0 votes that give it the same powers as national banks. With this, Avanti can now provide custody service for digital assets as a qualified custodian and deposit customer funds that are 100% backed by reserves.

Avanti is also planning to launch its tokenized US dollar called Avit, for which a patent is pending. The stablecoin is planned to be issued on both Liquid, a Bitcoin sidechain, and Ethereum initially, with other blockchains to follow in the future based on customer demand and network security.

The crypto bank will start providing commercial accounts in early 2021, followed by other accounts with a high minimum balance. Caitlin Long, Avanti’s founder, and CEO said,

“Avanti’s mission is to provide a compliant bridge between the traditional and digital asset financial systems, with the strictest level of institutional custody standards.”

“Wyoming has the only U.S. regulator with a bank supervisory and regulatory program for digital assets that is near completion.”

As a bank, Avanti will fully comply with the Bank Secrecy Act, anti-money laundering, and OFAC-related laws, rules, and regulations.

Also Read: Kraken Gets Approval in Wyoming to Become America’s First Crypto Bank

More Reading: Kraken’s Crypto Bank Is “An Accident Waiting to Happen,” says Bank Policy Institute

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Author: AnTy

Kraken Gets Approval in Wyoming to Become America’s First Crypto Bank

Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has obtained approval from the crypto-friendly State of Wyoming to create the world’s first Special Purpose Depository Institution (SPDI), tentatively called Kraken Financial.

The idea to become the bridge between the crypto economy and the existing financial ecosystem first came into existence in 2016 through the Delaware Blockchain Initiative, shared Marco Santori, Chief Legal Officer Kraken. Caitlin Long, founder, and CEO of Avanti tweeted,

“What a win-win for crypto & Wyoming! As of **NOW** Kraken has a US bank charter—a 100% reserves-required, audit required (w/ ProofOfReserves), custody via legal bailment, no rehypothecation type of bank!”

Source: @MSantoriESQHeadquartered in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Kraken Financial is the first digital asset company in the US to receive a bank charter. It will be able to provide deposit-taking, custody, and fiduciary services for digital assets. David Kinitsky, CEO of Kraken Financial said,

“Wyoming is a rare and shining example of how thoughtful regulation can drive innovation for FinTech companies.”

As a bank, by Wyoming law, Kraken Finance is required to maintain 100% of reserves of its deposits of fiat currency at all times and will have to meet every withdrawal demand of its client no matter the loans outstanding.

This development means Kraken’s reliance on third party financial institutions will be reduced, and they will be able to “launch a new wave of innovative products for our users.”

The exchange will start with the US first and then expand globally, which means for now only it will only offer accounts to US residents. Users can start with USD deposits and withdrawals and digital assets custody.

Over the next few years, the company plans to expand its services to digital asset staking, trust account, online and mobile banking, a debit card, and Proof of funds attestations, among other things. Kraken said in its official announcement,

“We expect to be able to offer additional retail, wealth management and treasury services (and potentially other asset classes such as securities).”

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Author: AnTy