Proposed protections for cryptocurrency node operators are moving ahead in Arizona's legislature, public records show.
House Bill 2602, which was filed on Feb. 6 by Representative Jeff Weninger (R.-17), passed the Arizona House of Representatives on Feb. 20 with 55 votes out of a possible 60. The measure will now be sent to the State Senate for further deliberation.
The bill's provisions seek to prevent town and county governments in the state from imposing restrictions on people who run such nodes in their residences, saying that the matter "is of statewide concern and not subject to further regulation" in those local jurisdictions.
Weninger's measure does not specify whether it is restricted to cryptocurrency miners, but it does state specifically that individuals using computing power to either validate or encrypt a transaction on a blockchain are protected.
Stepping back, the bill is just one of several making their way through the Arizona legislature. Another bill sponsored by Weninger would formally define the terms "virtual coin," "blockchain," and "virtual coin offering" within the state's legal framework.
If passed, that particular bill, submitted earlier this month, would define when an initial coin offering (ICO) qualifies as a securities offering under existing law.
More significantly, however, is another bill recently passed by the Arizona Senate which would empower the state government to accept taxes in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This bill would, if approved, require Arizona's Department of Revenue to convert the cryptocurrencies into U.S. dollars within a day of receiving them as payment.
This bill was introduced in the Senate by Senator Warren Petersen (R.-12), and Weninger is sponsoring its House equivalent. Public records indicate that the measure was given a second reading on Feb. 20.
Arizona House of Representatives image via Thomas Trompeter / Shutterstock