Article by Wayne Duggan
Analysts are predicting that cryptocurrency and blockchain-related businesses could scoop up billions in business in coming decades, and U.S. states are recognizing the potential economic benefits.
Wyoming Makes A Move
Wyoming is reportedly in the process of introducing a number of cryptocurrency-friendly bills aimed at making the state the blockchain capital of the U.S. On Feb. 16, Wyoming introduced Senate Bill 111, which would exclude cryptocurrency from property taxation. The bill is part of the state’s push to make Wyoming a haven for blockchain-based businesses.
Wyoming has no state income tax, but the IRS currently classifies bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as property. The property tax bill is the first of four crypto-friendly bills Republican state senators plan to back in Wyoming.
Other States Make Crypto Plays
Wyoming isn’t the only state that recognizes the value of cryptocurrency. Arizona recently passed a bill allowing residents to make their tax payments using cryptocurrencies starting in 2020. Tennessee recently introduced legislation recognizing cryptocurrency as legal tender and smart contracts and other digital transactions as valid under state law.
New York, the financial capital of the U.S., is also making a major push to lure blockchain business to the state. New York’s first-ever “Blockchain Week” takes place the week of May 11 and is organized by the New York City Economic Development Corp.
New York has more blockchain-related jobs than the San Francisco Bay Area, according to the analytics firm Burning Glass.
Top Crypto Cities
While states clamor to land cryptocurrency business, investors across the country have been scooping up cryptocurrency investments.
Residents of Jacksonville, Florida invested more than twice as much money in cryptocurreicies in December 2017 than residents of any other U.S. city, according to a StatusMoney report. Jacksonville cryptocurrency investors put an average of $31,468 in cryptocurrency holdings in December, topping Memphis, Tennessee ($15,748) and Albuquerque, New Mexico ($12,479) as the top crypto hot spots for investors.
“We looked at transactions in and out of major crypto exchanges and we can see when someone moves money from [a] checking account to Coinbase and other major crypto exchanges,” StatusMoney founder Majd Maksad told Benzinga.
On a total volume basis, the much larger cities are accounting for the majority of cryptocurrency trading. StatusMoney reported that New York City had the highest overall share of the nation’s cryptocurrency trading volume at 6.9 percent, followed by Chicago (4.9 percent) and Jacksonville (4.2 percent).
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