Cheyenne Ligon is a CoinDesk news reporter with a focus on crypto regulation and policy. She has no significant crypto holdings.

A bill introduced by state Rep. Jason Powell (D-Nashville) last week would allow Tennessee and counties and municipalities in the state to invest in cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

It is important for the state’s lawmakers to act fast to ensure Tennessee doesn’t get left behind in the crypto tech boom, Powell told CoinDesk.

“I represent Nashville,” Powell said. “We’re a dynamic, growing city and I want to make sure that we foster a positive environment for all things technology, and I’m a big believer in blockchain technology.”

Tennessee has already established itself as a modest tech hub by courting crypto companies and investors. Notably, Scott Conger, the mayor of Jackson, has been outspoken about his support for cryptocurrency and has pledged to create a system that would enable city employees to receive a portion of their paychecks in bitcoin.

Friendlier crypto laws will induce more companies to set up shop in Tennessee, something of interest to politicians on both sides of the aisle, Powell said.

“I’m optimistic because I think that my fellow lawmakers want to make sure that Tennessee stays ahead, and we’re doing everything we can to create a pro-business environment that’s going to foster companies wanting to be a part of our ecosystem,” Powell said about the bill's prospects, noting that he helped pass bipartisan blockchain-related legislation in 2018.

“It’s an issue that a lot of people - a lot of my colleagues - don’t understand," Powell said about crypto in general. "But at the end of the day, it’s a conversation I’m going to continue. Hopefully we can get it passed, but if not, we’ll continue the conversation and continue to push legislation to promote blockchain technology in the state of Tennessee.”

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

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. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Cheyenne Ligon is a CoinDesk news reporter with a focus on crypto regulation and policy. She has no significant crypto holdings.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Cheyenne Ligon is a CoinDesk news reporter with a focus on crypto regulation and policy. She has no significant crypto holdings.

Investing in the Future of the Digital Economy
October 18-19 | Spring Studio, NYC