Washington State Passes New Blockchain Law


Key Takeaways

  • Blockchain Bill 5544 has passed in Washington state.
  • The bill ushers in a blockchain working group that will explore potential applications for the technology.
  • Many states seem to be attempting to get ahead of the curve on crypto innovation.

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Washington has passed a new bill on blockchain technology. The new legislation is meant to facilitate Washington state’s increased adoption of Web3 innovation.

Blockchain Regulation

State by state and country by country, crypto regulation is on the rise.

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Jay Inslee, the governor of the U.S. state of Washington, has signed Blockchain Bill 5544. The long-fought for crypto bill mandates the creation of a blockchain technology working group, which will research various applications of the technology.

The group set to be created by the new bill will be dubbed the Washington Blockchain Work Group. The body is tasked with exploring the many possible use-cases for blockchain technology.

State lawmakers, financial institutions, trade associations, and various other types of stakeholders will make up the working group. Its first meeting is slated for Dec. 1 of this year. One year later, it is scheduled to release its findings as a report to Washington’s governor.

After three years of wading through the state legislature, first put forward by the state senator Sharon Brown and vetoed by the state’s governor in the spring of 2020, the new regulation has passed following the dialogue conducted amongst the state legislators that led to the version now approved. State senator Brown achieved bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate of Washington. The non-profit Washington Technology Industry Association endorsed the bill as well.

On the bill’s passing, Brown said:

“By creating the Washington Blockchain Work Group we are sending a clear message that Washington is ready to start working with the private sector to advance this technology for the benefit of all Washington residents, employers and workers.”

Hundreds of blockchain-focused startups already operate in the northwestern state. Other state lawmakers across the U.S. also seem to be approaching crypto with open arms, particularly in  Colorado, Arizona, and Florida. In both Colorado and Florida there have been moves made to begin accepting tax payments in crypto, while in Arizona one lawmaker has even proposed making Bitcoin legal tender.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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