West Virginia Lawmakers Complete Bitcoin Money Laundering Bill

Lawmakers in the US state of West Virginia have completed work on a bill that would make it a felony to use bitcoin for laundering money.

AccessTimeIconApr 28, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Dec 11, 2022 at 1:55 p.m. UTC

Lawmakers in the state of West Virginia have completed work on a bill that would make it a felony to use bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies for money laundering.

As reported in February, West Virginia House Bill 2585 constitutes an update to the state's anti-money laundering statutes, specifically creating a definition for cryptocurrency that is recognized as a 'monetary instrument' in the state.

The definition included in the bill reads:

"'Cryptocurrency' means digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, and which operate independently of a central bank."

The measure is on the cusp of becoming state law, public records show.

Lawmakers have finished drafting the bill following a conference period, according to LegiScan, a legislation data service provider. The state's lower chamber initially passed the bill by a 78–21 vote, with the senate approving the measure unanimously a month later in a 34–0 vote.

The bill, though subject to approval by the state’s governor, Democrat Jim Justice, forms part of a larger legislative trend happening in the US today.

State lawmakers in a number of states, including Arizona, New Hampshire and Nevada, have passed or advanced bills focusing on either bitcoin or blockchain in recent months.

West Virginia State Househttps://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/statue-stonewall-jackson-sits-on-grounds-41673556?src=A1Mnx3FirEnUhVRomdBM9g-1-0 image via Shutterstock


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