In a surprise move, the Uniform Law Commission has asked US states to scrap proposed virtual currency legislations until the impact can be properly assessed and a joint study committee has had the chance to investigate.
Many states this year introduced bills clarifying cryptocurrency regulatory concerns. California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island have all introduced the Uniform Regulation for Virtual Currency Businesses Act in their respective legislatures. However, the Uniform Law Commission has now requested they stall proceedings until the impact of these emerging technologies is properly addressed.
The Uniform Law Commission is a non-profit specializing in well-researched and drafted legislation for statutory laws. Its main focus is making sure legislation is consistent across state lines. It is now turning its attention towards the fast-growing blockchain space.
The ‘Wait and See’ Approach
The Uniform Law Commission is taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to states pushing for cryptocurrency legislation.
The consulting body is establishing a joint study committee consisting of members of the Uniform Law Commission and the American Law Institute. The committee was proposed in light of an apparent “split” regarding blockchain law among different states. The inconsistencies among state legislations have implored the two institutions to act.
The purpose of the committee will be to investigate how these varying legislations comply with the Uniform Commercial Code. The code governs commercial transactions in the United States. Caitlin Long, a Forbes contributor and Wall St. veteran who broke the news earlier today, called the news “seismic,” as it indicates that regulatory authorities are giving blockchain the attention it deserves.
Enacting hasty and ill-advised laws will hurt the blockchain space more than help. Public participation is encouraged as the committee sorts out these legislative fundamentals.
Getting Everyone on the Same Page
The news will come as a relief to some blockchain enthusiasts, given the pushback some of these legislative efforts have received in each state. In Nevada, for example, the proposed acts were mostly opposed; bills in Hawaii and Oklahoma were already stalled before the committee was even announced. Wyoming has also called Texas’ proposed regulations worse than New York’s infamous BitLicense.
All of this confusion underscores the real necessity of the Uniform Law Committee’s efforts to inform state representatives in passing the right laws. Without coherency, blockchain innovation could be unnecessarily hamstrung and the United States could easily fall behind.
Do you think US states will adopt a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies this year? Is a federal law regarding virtual currencies more viable? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.