New Hampshire governor John Sununu signed House Bill HB436 on Friday. The bill provides bitcoin with clear protection from debilitating and Orwellian regulations. The bill states that anyone who uses a “virtual currency” is exempt from having to register as a money transmitter. This is important news for a State that vouches for being one of the freest places to live in the U.S.
In a freekeene.com article, Ian Freeman lauded the bill. He said, “This is a historic day and this move clearly positions New Hampshire as the most bitcoin-friendly state in the United States. NH was already the #1 most free state according to the ‘Freedom in the 50 States’ study and this makes it even more free.”
Freeman also said Liberty Lobby’s Darryl W Perry, who reached out to the governor about the bill, had a remark. He said, “After nearly three years of trying to get virtual currency explicitly exempt from money transmitter laws in the Live Free or Die State, I am happy to see this first major obstacle cleared.”
Previous New Hampshire Bill and other Anti-Crypto Regulation
The first major obstacle is cleared, true, but it was not cleared without overcoming past mishaps. Back in 2015, a bill was pushed through New Hampshire’s house that added bitcoin to the “money transmitter” status.
Freeman mentioned the crypto enthusiasts of New Hampshire were not prepared for this anti-bitcoin legislation. So a committee to examine cryptocurrency was put together. The results of the committee’s work along with the crypto community appear to be this new bill that protects people and businesses who use cryptocurrency.
It requires motivated work to turn bad bills like this around, though; and it looks like other states may need similar goading to keep hamstringing legislation from being signed into law. The same can be said about federal government legislation.
Wendy McElroy, writing for bitcoin.com, recently wrote a piece condemning senate bill 1241, which she decried as being intended to undermine bitcoin freedom. She said,
Senate Bill 1241 defines digital currencies as “monetary instruments” and digital exchanges/tumblers as “financial institutions” for purposes of enforcing anti-money laundering laws. If successful, the “Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Counterfeiting Act” would inflict unhappy consequences on bitcoin freedom.
Then there are other anti-bitcoin or cryptocurrency bills that do similar things to undermine the currency. This includes the original New York “bitlicense” and the more recent anti-money laundering bill in Florida that seeks to attack bitcoin traders for the purposes of “safety” and “security.” The writers of this type of legislation suggest that they are protecting people from criminality, but many say they are only limiting or undermining personal freedom.
Our Crypto Future: dismal or bright?
Needless to say, New Hampshire’s turnaround bill represents a step in the right direction for most crypto enthusiasts. This bill comes into play at about the same time Nevada’s pro-crypto senate bill 398 has been passed into law. Nevada’s bill prohibits local politicians from taxing and regulating the digital currency, which sits in the same vein of thought as New Hampshire’s piece of legislation.
Still, no one can claim to know what the future holds in terms of how governments will deal with digital currency, but there is certainly a tug-of-war going on between people who see it as evil and those who see it as good. Hopefully, more and more people will begin to realize the benefits of cryptocurrency rather than demonizing it and engaging in witch hunts.
Do you think more States will move in the direction of passing pro-crypto bills? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Jamie Redman
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