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Oklahoma Is Bitcoin Country

By Brady Dale

Oklahoma is the first state to sign legislation into law that protects its citizens’ right to self-custody their bitcoins and other digital assets.

Why it matters: Enabling people to keep and control digital wealth without the help of a third party was one of the main reasons Satoshi created Bitcoin.

  • Cash can be kept in a wallet or under a mattress, but there was no way to hold value digitally without involving a bank or fintech company before Bitcoin.

The latest: Gov. Kevin Stitt signed it into law Monday.

  • House Bill 3594 passed both of Oklahoma’s legislative chambers with strong majorities.

Oklahoma’s Bitcoin rights law also protects the rights of citizens and companies to mine Bitcoin (though they have to comply with local laws, like noise ordinances).

  • The legislation was pushed by the Satoshi Action Fund, which has been working state-by-state to enact legislation protecting the use of cryptocurrencies.
  • Previously, it successfully pushed for laws to protect the rights of Bitcoin miners in Arkansas and Montana.
  • Dennis Porter, the fund’s CEO, told Axios that his organization sees passing state legislation as a way to move laws through the U.S. Congress later.

Zoom out: Very nearly all cryptocurrency mining — particularly at scale — is Bitcoin mining.

  • The lion’s share of new blockchains use a proof-of-stake mechanism to validate transactions, which can easily be run in the cloud.
  • The only other top 25 blockchains that still use Bitcoin’s proof-of-work are Dogecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.

Under the law, special taxes can’t be imposed on purchases just because they were made with cryptocurrency.

  • Miners can’t be subjected to rules that only apply to their businesses. For example, a community can have a noise ordinance, but it can’t have a noise ordinance that only applies to bitcoin miners.
  • It also specifies that operating a node of any kind of cryptocurrency network does not constitute a money transmitter business in the state.
  • The law expressly does not exempt cryptocurrency businesses from Oklahoma’s securities laws.

What they’re saying: “Oklahoma is now a forerunner for Bitcoin and digital asset policy in the country,” Storm Rund, president of the Oklahoma Bitcoin Association, said in a statement from the group.

The governor has not replied to a request for comment from Axios.

What’s next: The law goes into effect on Nov. 1, and miners will say: Oh what a beautiful mornin’.

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