State agencies could accept Bitcoin and other cryptos for fines, taxes, and more.
Legislators in New York introduced a bill in the local senate on Jan. 26 that could allow state agencies to recognize cryptocurrency as a legal payment.
If the bill in question — New York Assembly Bill 2532 — enters law, it will allow cryptocurrencies to be accepted as payment in certain circumstances.
The bill does not seem to encourage the commercial adoption of crypto. Instead, it would amend existing laws to allow state agencies to accept cryptocurrency for their purposes. Those agencies could accept crypto for payments related to taxes, rent, fines, penalties, interest, and so on through agreements with individuals and groups.
The bill’s text also suggests that some cryptocurrency payments could be conditional until the final payment is received in full. Furthermore, the text allows the state to charge a fee if it would otherwise be made to pay the costs of a transaction.
The bill also makes references to “issuers” but seems to use the term broadly. Contextually, the term seems to extend to services that handle crypto, not just those who create it.
The bill specifically names Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash as acceptable currencies. However, it also says that other cryptocurrencies can be accepted and does not make any attempt to declare certain assets as acceptable.
The bill was introduced by Assembly member Clyde Vanel, who has also put forward bills related to crypto fraud and establishing crypto task forces.
The bill is not yet law. It must be passed by New York’s Assembly and Senate and signed by Governor Kathy Hochul before it comes into effect. Other versions of the bill have been introduced since 2017, suggesting its success is not guaranteed.
New York is known for its strict policies toward other areas of the crypto industry. Just 32 firms are permitted to operate under its BitLicense or limited purpose trust charter. The state also imposed strict regulations on crypto mining late last year.