As Utah lawmakers meet for the legislative session next week, they’ll consider at least three bills dealing with cryptocurrency.
Some feel Utah is well-positioned to capitalize on this rapidly-growing industry.
“We love to be at the forefront. We’re pioneers,” said Mick Hagen, CEO and founder of Utah-based Genesis Block. “We have that pioneer heritage.”
Hagen’s company essentially provides digital banking using Bitcoin and other cryptos. His business relies on blockchain technology, which is like a database or ledger that proves ownership of a digital asset.
“I think there is a big opportunity for the industry in Utah,” Hagen said.
Sen. Kirk Cullimore (R-Sandy) agrees. He’s running a bill during the upcoming legislative session addressing property rights on blockchain.
“What it’s trying to do is establish the framework in state law for how we recognize those property rights and the rights of those transactions,” Cullimore told KUTV 2News.
Two other bills this session come from Rep. Jordan Teuscher (R-South Jordan). One allows cryptocurrency as a method for government payments. The other sets up a task force to see how the state can innovate and incorporate blockchain technology.
Even though this technology may not be familiar to many – Pew Research Center estimated about one in six Americans has invested in or used cryptocurrency – Cullimore said it’s evolving quickly, and the state needs to be prepared.
2022 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
“Like anything new, there’s a lot of questions about it,” Cullimore said. “The early 90s, maybe, people had these same type of questions about the internet.”
Hagen, the tech entrepreneur, feels Utah has a chance to make an impact in this burgeoning field.
“Utah has an opportunity to be at the forefront of creating very friendly crypto regulations which will attract businesses,” Hagen said. “It will attract builders and entrepreneurs and creators, and ultimately, it will create potentially tens of thousands of jobs here locally.”
The three cryptocurrency-related bills are still being drafted. The legislative session begins Tuesday and runs 45 days.