After years of laying groundwork, the future of Wyoming’s cryptocurrency banking industry now lies in the hands of federal regulators, officials with Wyoming U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis’ office told lawmakers Tuesday.
In a presentation to the Wyoming Legislature’s Select Blockchain Committee on Tuesday, Lummis policy advisers Tyler Lindholm and Chris Land warned lawmakers that Wyoming could lose its competitive advantage to other states in the race to lure cryptocurrency firms to the Cowboy State. Both men were key architects of Wyoming’s cryptocurrency laws.
The delay, they told lawmakers, was not due to any fault of the state legislature, but the slow pace of federal regulators and quasi-regulatory organizations like the American Bankers’ Association in developing rules to allow consumers to bank with the decentralized, digital currency. Most important among those steps: cryptocurrency bankers’ access to an ABA routing number, an essential tool for financial institutions to conduct transactions.
Such a delay, Sen. Chris Rothfuss (D-Laramie) said, could cause Wyoming to lose ground to other states that are quickly developing cryptocurrency regulations of their own, costing the state its competitive advantage as other states catch up. (The Illinois Legislature, they noted, is in the process of approving its own cryptocurrency banking regulations.)
“I don’t think there’s a great deal that can be done,” Land told lawmakers. “We are losing our first-mover advantage, and that keeps me up at night.”
A reluctant Fed