Bipartisan Bill in Tennessee Would Allow the State to Invest in Crypto and NFTs – CoinDesk

Tennessee State Representative Jason Powell’s bill would add cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to the group of allowed investments for not just the state’s funds, but also those of Tennessee’s counties and municipalities.

It is important for the state’s lawmakers to act fast to ensure Tennessee doesn’t get left behind in the crypto tech boom, Rep. Powell told CoinDesk. “I represent Nashville,” Powell said. “We’re a dynamic, growing city and I want to make sure that we foster a positive environment for all things technology, and I’m a big believer in blockchain technology.”

Tennessee has already established itself as a modest tech hub by courting crypto companies and investors. Notably, Jackson Mayor Scott Conger has been outspoken about his support for cryptocurrency, and pledged to create a system that would enable city employees to receive a portion of their paychecks in bitcoin.

Friendlier crypto laws will induce more companies to set up shop in Tennessee, something of interest to politicians on both sides of the aisle, Powell said.

Passage chances? “I’m optimistic because I think that my fellow lawmakers want to make sure that Tennessee stays ahead, and we’re doing everything we can to create a pro-business environment that’s going to foster companies wanting to be a part of our ecosystem,” Powell said. He reminded CoinDesk that he helped pass bipartisan blockchain-related legislation back in 2018.

One challenge going forward – whether in Nashville or in Washington, D.C. –  is education, said Powell. “It’s an issue that a lot of people – a lot of my colleagues – don’t understand … But at the end of the day, it’s a conversation I’m going to continue. Hopefully we can get it passed but, if not, we’ll continue the conversation and continue to push legislation to promote blockchain technology in the state of Tennessee.”

DISCLOSURE

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Cheyenne Ligon is a CoinDesk news reporter with a focus on crypto regulation and policy. She has no significant crypto holdings.


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