Big if true. Did Arizona one-up every other Bitcoiner state? A bill that seeks to make Bitcoin legal tender in the state is circulating through Twitter and Telegram groups. Doubt is still in the air, and there’s no official confirmation, but the document seems to exist. And, even though it’s just a bill and there’s no guarantee it will pass, this might be the most important Bitcoin news of the year so far.
The game theory inherent in Bitcoin is playing just as advertised. As the story moves along, nobody wants to be the last to participate. And people, companies, states, and countries are going to have to buy in as insurance, in case this Bitcoin thing catches on. So, as Texas tries to corner the mining industry and Florida seeks to attract the tech talent and create the new Silicon Valley, here comes Arizona with a legal tender bill.
What Does The Arizona Bill Say?
Apparently, the news broke in a Telegram group of Bitcoiners interested in US politics. However, the tweet that shook the Internet was this one:
BREAKING: Arizona introduces bill to make #Bitcoin legal tender.
— Dennis Porter (@Dennis_Porter_) January 28, 2022
A well-known podcaster and Bitcoin commentator, Dennis Porter wouldn’t just say that. He backed it up with a link to this copy of the SB 1341 bill. What does the very short bill say? Among other things:
LEGAL TENDER IN THIS STATE CONSISTS OF ALL OF THE FOLLOWING:
1. ANY MEDIUM OF EXCHANGE THAT IS AUTHORIZED BY THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION OR CONGRESS FOR THE PAYMENT OF DEBTS, PUBLIC CHARGES, TAXES AND DUES.
2. SPECIE ISSUED AT ANY TIME BY THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.
3. ANY OTHER SPECIE THAT A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION RULES BY A FINAL, UNAPPEALABLE ORDER TO BE WITHIN THE SCOPE OF STATE AUTHORITY TO MAKE A LEGAL TENDER.
That’s right, Bitcoin. And, before you ask, here’s the register that proves that the bill exists within the Arizona system.
BTC price chart for 01/28/2022 on Bitstamp | Source: BTC/USD on TradingView.com
Is There Precedent To The Legal Tender Bill?
This gives credence to the news. Arizona has been trying to pass some kind of Bitcoin Bill for a while now. As far as we can tell, the idea goes back to 2018. In a March Crypto Economy article, everyone seemed hopeful:
“The state of Arizona is likely to become the first to pass a law permitting residents to pay their taxes and other charges to the government with bitcoins. The Arizona House of Representatives will be deliberating on the issue this week. The House Ways and Means Committee is advocating the advancement of the bill which has already been passed by the state senate. This is according to public records released March 7.”
That, of course, didn’t happen. However, Bitcoin was not as strong back then. And the world was not as convoluted as today. Could the bill pass this time around? Absolutely. Is it guaranteed? Not even close.
States, and countries are starting to figure out that the best way to attract talent and build prosperity for their citizens is to advocate for a free market.
Game theory accelerating!
A competition for the best and brightest.
— Jeff Booth (@JeffBooth) January 28, 2022
Anyway, in 2020, the “Arizona Cryptocurrency as Legal Tender Initiative” couldn’t get the support it needed to even be considered. This may have been for the best because “cryptocurrency” is not the same as “Bitcoin.” In any case, quoting Ballotpedia:
“The Arizona Cryptocurrency as Legal Tender Initiative was not on the ballot in Arizona as an initiated state statute on November 3, 2020.
The ballot measure would have considered cryptocurrency to be legal tender in Arizona if it is agreed upon as a unit of trade.”
What Does The Twitterati Say About The Arizona Bitcoin Bill?
So far, people seem to be cautious. Not many have commented on the news. However, “The Price Of Tomorrow’s” author Jeff Both said, “States, and countries are starting to figure out that the best way to attract talent and build prosperity for their citizens is to advocate for a free market.”
In contrast, pseudonymous Bitcoiner Zender, tweeted, “This is just stupid. Don’t force people to accept Bitcoin. Just make it 0% tax.” JUST make it 0% tax? Easier said than done, huh?
For their part, “independent investment research” company Hedgeye, brought controversy to the subject. “It was introduced by Wendy Rogers, a member of the Oath Keepers, a far-right militia group.” And then, “Why are people so willing to accept the support of horrible people?” Well, considering Bitcoin is for everyone, especially your enemies, things seem to be going according to plan.
Featured Image by Pierre Jeanneret on Unsplash | Charts by TradingView