Bitcoin May Soon Be Accepted Like Cash in Arizona

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May Lim /

A senator in Arizona has brought forth a bill that would make Bitcoin legal tender in the state, meaning that state organizations may be obligated to accept it like cash.

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Republican State Senator Wendy Rogers of Arizona formally introduced Bill 1341 which seeks to include Bitcoin as a legally accepted form of payment on “any medium of exchange that is authorized by the United States Constitution or Congress for the payment of debts, public charges, taxes and dues.” That means if you live in Arizona, you could soon be paying your taxes with Bitcoin. 

Although the passage of a bill like this would be one of the first of its kind, federal laws — including the U.S. Constitution — could complicate how freely Bitcoin could be hypothetically tendered. 

“Arizona could certainly pass a law like this and the state government could choose to accept Bitcoin as payment for Arizona taxes, but this would not change the legal treatment of Bitcoin as property from a federal tax perspective,” said Preston Byrne, partner at law firm Ander Kill, to Blockworks.

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There are currently laws in place, stemming from the National Bank Acts of 1865 and 1866, that place a 10% tax on payments made in currency other than national bank notes.

So while Arizona could pass the bill in their state legislature, until the cryptocurrency became nationally recognized as a bank note, many experts suggest Bitcoin would have trouble fully integrating as everyday tender.

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Byrne added that, if passed, the bill would be largely symbolic. He does not think it could constitutionally force Arizonans to accept Bitcoin like cash. 

Still, Rogers’ push is likely to be perceived as a major win for the crypto community. The introduction of the bill also follows the senator’s appointment to Arizona’s Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Study Committee, news which she announced on Twitter back in September.

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About the Author

Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who studied post-industrial capitalist structures at New York University. She has eight years of experience with concentrations in asset management, portfolio management, private client banking, and investment research. Georgina has written for Investopedia and WallStreetMojo. 
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