South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has vetoed House Bill 1193, which aimed to amend the state’s Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) to specifically exclude cryptocurrencies and other digital assets from the definition of money. The bill, which had already passed the state legislature, sought to provide greater clarity and legal certainty for businesses operating with digital assets in South Dakota.
In her veto notice to the state’s House Speaker Hugh Bartels on March 9, Governor Noem argued that the bill would put South Dakota at a disadvantage compared to other states that have embraced cryptocurrencies. She said that excluding cryptocurrencies as money would make it more difficult to use them and potentially harm the state’s economy.
Furthermore, Governor Noem expressed concern that the bill could pave the way for future federal government overreach in issuing a digital dollar. She believes that by excluding cryptocurrencies from the definition of money, the bill would create a regulatory gap that could be exploited by the federal government to impose its own digital currency on the states.
Governor Noem also pointed out that the bill’s exception for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) could undermine the state’s efforts to regulate cryptocurrencies and digital assets. She argued that CBDCs, which are issued and backed by central banks, could potentially crowd out other digital currencies and become the only viable option for businesses and consumers alike.
Governor Noem’s decision to veto the bill has been met with mixed reactions from the cryptocurrency community. Some have praised her for recognizing the potential of digital assets and for standing up against federal government overreach. Others, however, have criticized her for ignoring the risks and challenges posed by cryptocurrencies, including their potential use for illicit activities and their impact on the environment.
In recent years, South Dakota has emerged as a hub for the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries, with several major firms and startups operating in the state. However, the regulatory landscape for digital assets in South Dakota remains uncertain, with lawmakers and regulators grappling with the complexities and risks of this emerging sector.
Governor Noem’s veto of House Bill 1193 is likely to add further uncertainty and debate to the state’s approach to regulating cryptocurrencies and digital assets. The governor’s concerns about the potential impact of excluding cryptocurrencies from the definition of money and the risk of federal government overreach highlight the need for a nuanced and balanced regulatory framework that balances innovation and security.
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