"Big Sky Country" has gone crypto friendly, with new legislation addressing the use of utility tokens.
The governor of the U.S. state of Montana, Steve Bullock, signed House Bill 584 into law earlier this month, recognizing utility tokens and exempting them from being considered as securities under local rules, with caveats.
Scintillatingly titled "Generally revise laws relating to cryptocurrency," the bill was sponsored by State Representative Shane Morigeau (Democrat) and sets out that utility token transactions are permissible as long as the purpose of the token is "primarily consumptive."
The issuer must not market the token as an investment or for speculation, and must still file a notice of intent to sell the tokens with the state's securities commissioner.
Other restriction include that the "consumptive purpose" of the utility token must available within 180 days after its time of sale or transfer, and the initial buyer is barred from reselling or transferring the token until its consumptive purpose has become available.
"Consumptive purpose" is defined being to "provide or receive goods, services, or content including access to goods, services, or content."
It's worth noting that federal rules supersede those at the state level laws, so the real-world impacts of the bill are likely to be restricted to crypto issuances within the state and to state residents. However, it marks another step on the way to clear regulations for such tokens in the U.S.
Wyoming, notably, has 13 blockchain-positive laws that are designed to provide a comprehensive framework for crypto firms in the state. In February it passed a bill recognizing digital assets as property and clearing the way for banks to act as crypto custodians. Others enable securities to be issued in tokenized form and seek to make it more easy for crypto firms to gain banking services.
"Blockchain technology and distributed ledger technology allow the secure recording of transactions through cryptographic algorithms and distributed record sharing, and such technology has reached a point where the opportunities for efficiency, cost savings, and cybersecurity deserve study," the bill states.
Miami-based crypto lawyer Drew Hinkes told CoinDesk:
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.