A senator in the state of Nevada has introduced a bill that would prevent local authorities from taxing blockchain transactions, in a bid to ensure the technology remains independent of local government.
The bill, proposed by Senator Ben Kieckhefer, also attempts to tackle the lack of a state regulatory basis for the blockchain, and would provide for a certain legal framework for those using the blockchain to record and facilitate transactions or contracts.
The legislation is at its most pointed in its attempts to prevent local government from taxing blockchain tech. According to the terms of the bill:
“A local governmental entity shall not: (a) Impose any tax or fee on the use of a blockchain or smart contract by any person or entity; (b) Require any person or entity to obtain from the local governmental entity any certificate, license or permit to use a blockchain or smart contract; or (c) Impose any other requirement relating to the use of a blockchain or smart contract by any person or entity.”
The move to legitimize the blockchain and provide adequate legal structures follows similar attempts in other states, notably Arizona and Vermont, as legislators seek to address the current grey areas.
By eliminating the potential for local government taxation and opening up the use of the technology to everyone, it is hoped that the law could prevent the blockchain being seen as an easy target for tax receipts in the months and years to come.
The technology, which currently powers digital currencies like bitcoin, holds potentially significant benefits for a range of industries, government functions and sectors. The bill aims to clear up the uncertainty around developing for the blockchain, a considerable barrier for developers and startups exploring the technology.
The bill would also give blockchain records the same legal standing as writing, allowing evidence of blockchain records to be presented in Nevada courts.
While the proposal could only come to impact on developers in Nevada, it is being watched closely by those tasked with regulating blockchain development and technology elsewhere.
It remains to be seen whether the new bill will be passed into law, and what impact this might have on the development ecosystem for blockchain technology in Nevada and further afield.