Bipartisan Bill Would Allow Tennessee to Invest in Crypto and NFTs

State Rep. Jason Powell said crypto-friendly laws would help draw more businesses to the state.

AccessTimeIconFeb 10, 2022 at 9:48 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:59 p.m. UTC

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.”


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Cheyenne Ligon

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