The New York State Assembly has received a bill that will legalize state agencies to accept cryptocurrency as a means of payment for fines, taxes, fees, civil penalties, and other state-related dues. The bill allows state agencies to enter into agreements with individuals or entities to accept cryptocurrency for various types of fees, including fines, penalties, taxes, and more.
It is crucial to understand that the bill does not force state agencies to accept crypto payments, but it does make it clear that the courts should enforce these agreements. The bill defines cryptocurrency as any digital currency that uses encryption techniques to regulate the generation of currency units, including but not limited to bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, and bitcoin cash.
The bill also acknowledges that some cryptocurrencies have an “issuer” and allows state agencies to charge an extra fee if a fee is charged by the cryptocurrency’s issuer. For the bill to be enacted, it needs to gain approval from both the New York Assembly and Senate and be signed off by Governor Kathy Hochul.
It is worth noting that the New York state government has had a historically hostile relationship with cryptocurrency. In November 2022, a bill was passed in New York that prohibited the majority of cryptocurrency mining operations within the state. Furthermore, the state’s restrictive “BitLicense” law, which requires all crypto exchanges to acquire, has been heavily criticized.
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.