The Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Study Committee is guiding Arizona residents and businesses into the 21st century.
In May the Arizona Senate in the fifty-fifth legislature passed H.B. 2544, signed by Gov. Doug Ducey.
The bill enacted the creation of a study committee to oversee blockchain technologies and cryptocurrency, ultimately legitimizing the rapid growth and presence of this industry throughout the state.
“It’s incredible the amount of potential that exists with these technologies,” said Ryan Taylor, who is a member of the committee and the CEO of Dash Core Group, an Arizona based cryptocurrency company. “We have a multitrillion-dollar industry that sprung up, and it’s growing incredibly fast.”
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The study committee serves to understand and review the scope of such technologies, determine its prevalence, compile potential legislation and produce an initial report by the end of the year. In the meantime, committee members remain busy careening through this new territory.
Committee members are currently focused on creating guidance language that the Arizona legislature can potentially adopt and codify in the next legislative session.
“We’re trying to put some framework around it so that people that want to be in the space have some guidance,” said Mark Taylor, a member of the committee and Vice Mayor for the city of Chandler.
While Mark Taylor and other members of the committee strive to create parameters for Arizona, they’re struggling with finding guidance of their own in shaping such legislation.
Since cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is so nascent, committee members are forced to review other legislation among different states such as Montana and Georgia “where cryptocurrency guidance has become prevalent in their legislature,” Mark Taylor said.
The most paramount reason for such little existing legislation on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is because it’s widely unregulated by the government.
“The only thing that’s attractive about it to everyone is that it is decentralized,” said Chris Melly, a Phoenix resident who started regularly investing in Bitcoin and Ethereum, two major cryptocurrency systems.
Melly recently entered the world of cryptocurrency and was drawn to the idea of having income that wasn’t reliant on a bi-weekly paycheck. For him, and many others, being able to see a larger return in cryptocurrency investments made more economical sense than investing money in traditional manners.
“I have a retirement account at work and I’m actually losing money but since I started putting money in crypto, I’m up 33% from what I put in three months ago,” Melly said.
Committee members recognize this incentive and are working to ensure that all interests are being fairly represented in creating such guidelines by having a broad base that includes public, private and governmental bodies throughout the entire process.
Ryan Taylor stressed however, that the committee is primarily focused on the business aspect of blockchain technology as “we see more and more businesses accepting cryptocurrency” and “businesses beginning to incorporate this as a way to attract new customers.”
“There is an eye towards helping Arizona businesses to operate more efficiently. Blockchain isn’t just cryptocurrency, it’s a technology that underpins it,” Ryan Taylor said.