West Virginia Lawmakers Complete Bitcoin Money Laundering Bill

Lawmakers in the state of West Virginia have completed work on a bill that would make it a felony to use bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies for money laundering.

As reported in February, West Virginia House Bill 2585 constitutes an update to the state’s anti-money laundering statutes, specifically creating a definition for cryptocurrency that is recognized as a ‘monetary instrument’ in the state.

The definition included in the bill reads:

“‘Cryptocurrency’ means digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, and which operate independently of a central bank.”

The measure is on the cusp of becoming state law, public records show.

Lawmakers have finished drafting the bill following a conference period, according to LegiScan, a legislation data service provider. The state’s lower chamber initially passed the bill by a 78–21 vote, with the senate approving the measure unanimously a month later in a 34–0 vote.

The bill, though subject to approval by the state’s governor, Democrat Jim Justice, forms part of a larger legislative trend happening in the US today.

State lawmakers in a number of states, including Arizona, New Hampshire and Nevada, have passed or advanced bills focusing on either bitcoin or blockchain in recent months.

West Virginia State House image via Shutterstock

LegislationRegulationWest Virginia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *