By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Despite Wyoming’s status as a pioneer state when it comes to cryptocurrency, one expert does not believe that the state will be accepting digital money as payment for taxes as Colorado has decided to do.
Earlier this month, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill which will take effect this summer that would allow Colorado residents to pay their income taxes and other government fees with cryptocurrency. Polis said that Colorado’s finances are all based on dollars, so any payments made with crypto would be converted back into dollars by an intermediary source.
Wyoming crypto expert Caitlin Long told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday that the Wyoming Legislature dismissed the idea of using crypto for tax payments, since Wyoming does not have a state income tax.
“The amounts involved were far smaller than those in states with big income taxes or other types of taxes, like gross receipts or franchise taxes on businesses,” Long said. “The University of Wyoming has been accepting donations on crypto since 2018 and could work with the state to show how easy it is to set up.”
Cryptocurrency is a digital currency exchanged through a computer network that is not reliant on the government or a bank to uphold or maintain it.
During the most recent legislative session, Wyoming lawmakers passed a bill that would allow Wyoming’s treasurer to issue “stable tokens,” a form of digital currency backed by solid assets. Senate File 106 cleared both chambers of the Legislature and is awaiting the signature of Gov. Mark Gordon to become law.
If Gordon signs the bill into law, Wyoming would be the only state in the nation with its own digital currency.
Rep. Mike Yin, D-Jackson, said during the session that the values of most digital currencies can be very volatile, while Wyoming’s stable tokens, being backed by the state’s assets, would remain constant in their value.
Stable tokens allow people to trade in the digital realm without experiencing rapid fluctuations in the value of their currency, he said.
Wyoming is also home to the world’s first two digital banks, Kraken and Avanti, the latter of which was founded by Long.