Lawmakers in Arizona, a blockchain friendly state, have proposed allowing residents to pay their taxes in bitcoin.
State Rep. Jeff Weninger, a co-sponsor for the bill, which the senate finance committee has already passed, said the measure will send a signal to the U.S. and possibly worldwide that Arizona is a place for blockchain and digital currency.
The law would enable the ease of being able to pay taxes in the middle of the night or while at home watching TV, Wininger said. In a few years, he said the issue won’t even be a question.
Support Isn’t Unanimous
Not all lawmakers support the measure. Arizona State Senate Minority Leader Steve Farley said if the proposal passes, it could put all taxpayers at risk if bitcoin crashes. The state would have to take responsibility for how to exchange the bitcoin. Farley said the U.S. dollar should suffice.
Jack Biltis, who owns Tag Employer Services, an Arizona company that allows employees to be paid in bitcoin and invest part of their 401(k) retirement plans in bitcoin, said a new technology is always a bit scary and thrilling at the beginning, as it was with the Internet. He said the world will look very different in 20 years, and the people who will be successful are those that embrace the technology now and are on the leading edge of the curve.
State Recognizes Smart Contracts
In April, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill that Weninger introduced that officially recognizes blockchain signatures and smart contracts.
The law requires smart contracts to be upheld and enforced under Arizona law, according to a Digital Currency Executive Brief.
The law states that “a record or contract that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be in an electronic form and to be an electronic record.” The governor also signed a bill into law in April that prohibits the blockchain technology from being used to track firearm information. The law prevents anyone – although law enforcement is exempt under the rule – from using the distributed ledger to track when a firearm has been fired.
A bill has also been proposed that would recognize cryptocurrency as currencies and not commodities.