Last updated on March 17th, 2015 at 02:25 pm
Forget about New York and New Hampshire. Utah is the newest Bitcoin-friendly US state to make history in the cryptocurrency universe and might be the first one to accept BTC for state services.
A new bill passed its first Senate reading after previously passing through the House of Representatives (majority of 38 ‘yes’ against 36 ‘no’).
The Bill H.C.R 6 – titled “Concurrent resolution on payment options for State Services” – was originally presented by Utah state representative Marc K. Roberts in February ans is being sponsored by Todd Weiler.
Among other goals, the bill encourages “the expanded use of Bitcoin in the state” and “proposes the creation of the Council on Payment Options for State Services to study whether and how the state could accept Bitcoin as a valid form of payment“.
According to Marc K. Roberts, approving this bill would mean the state of Utah could save money on payment processing fees. However, the proponent believes that the advantages could go way beyond this already positive outcome.
Therefore, be it resolved that the Legislature of the state of Utah, and the Governor concurring therein, recognizes the potential benefits that could come from the expanded use of Bitcoin in the state and recognizes that the state could be a key player in promoting the use of Bitcoin.
The bill even mentions Overstock.com, the e-commerce giant based in Salt Lake City that started accepting BTC in early 2014. “Bitcoin provides merchants with an attractive alternative mechanism for accepting payment because transaction fees for Bitcoin are generally much lower than those imposed by other payment processors. (…) Many major companies now accept Bitcoin as a valid form of payment, including Utah-based Overstock.com.”
Nevertheless, according to CoinTelegraph.com, even if the Senate approves the motion on its second and third readings, the “Council on Payment Options” will have the last word. The council will investigate and ultimately determine whether it is feasible for the state to accept Bitcoin as an official payment option.
For now, the document not only has the Senate’s first approval, but has also received a positive nod from Utah’s Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee. The committee took a vote on the bill, approving it three votes to one.