The U.S. state of Wyoming is the first elected to body to define utility tokens as a new form of property, and property is generally the purview of state law. This could positively impact the regulations that the federal government has put in place for cryptocurrency tokens.
As the cryptocurrency ecosystem continues to evolve into an entire new economy, the U.S. government has been busy firing shots in multiple directions to enforce regulations.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) are the two federal agencies that serve as the primary regulators of cryptocurrencies in the U.S. However, while both agencies are taking a stance to define “cryptocurrencies” in order to enforce regulations, both have differing views.
The SEC has made it clear that cryptocurrencies and tokens offered through Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are “securities,” and therefore illegal unless registered through the SEC. However, just last week a district judge backed the U.S. Commodity Future Trading Commission in defining cryptocurrencies as “commodities.” Judge Jack Weinstein from a district court in New York ruled that, “virtual currencies can be regulated by the CFTC as a commodity.”
Yet as the SEC and CFTC continue to decide whether or not cryptocurrencies are securities or commodities, one U.S. state is taking action by laying down the law at a state level.
Over the last several weeks, the Wyoming legislature has passed five bills into law that relate to the advancement of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. And while all of these are notable, one law in particular makes Wyoming standout as being the first state in the world to define cryptocurrencies as an entirely new asset class.