The state of Florida has an interesting relationship with Bitcoin. The sunshine state has seen many legal cases on the subject — most notably the recent Michell Espinoza trial. Amid the proceedings, lawmakers in Florida are preparing to draft legislation that may finally recognize Bitcoin as a currency.
Florida’s Senate Will See a Bitcoin Bill This Year
Michell Espinoza’s Miami-Dade trial recently made national headlines when the judge ruled Bitcoin was not money and dismissed the case.
Shortly after, the state appealed that decision. Florida Senator Dorothy Hukill says the state is planning to file legislation regarding cryptocurrencies.
Hukill says that, because Florida law hasn’t defined Bitcoin yet, lawmakers are researching ways to regulate its use.
“We’ve been learning a lot about it. We don’t really have any way to regulate it in Florida. I think it’s something we need to get ahead of,” Hukill says. “We need to look at what the role of government should be, with an emphasis on consumer protections.”
Legislation Due to Miami-Dade Circuit Court Ruling
Hukill also mentioned that the Miami-Dade circuit court ruling was one reason lawmakers are taking the initiative. The senator is very interested in digital currency, and has a background in technology law.
In March, she sponsored a digital assets bill that Governor Rick Scott signed into law. The legislation gives family members rights to online financial accounts, social media, and cloud storage after an owner’s death.
She also sponsored a law against collecting biometric data in the state’s public school system. Hukill did not say when the cryptocurrency bill will be submitted, but believes the Florida Senate will view it after the election.
The senator believes the state needs a law because of Bitcoin’s popularity, and the many Florida court proceedings. After the Espinoza case dismissal by Judge Teresa Pooler, many people expected changes would come to Florida’s money transmitter laws. When Florida Politics asked Hukill whether lawmakers would consider Bitcoin money, Hukill laughed and stated, “I think it can fit into our laws somewhere.”
However, the cryptocurrency community hopes Hukill doesn’t follow in the footsteps of New York and California legislators. The senator has said her team is willing to work with digital currency and blockchain advocates. After the Espinoza decision and Florida appealing the case, it’s probable the state will direct its efforts towards a definition of Bitcoin.
What do you think about Senator Dorothy Hukill decision to draft a Florida Bitcoin bill? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: Florida Politics
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