Lawmakers bring back bills to set up regulatory framework for cryptocurrency

finger pressing computer key with bitcoin, dollar symbol and exchange word. crypto mining concept
'It’s time for Florida to step up and join the 21st century.'

Republican lawmakers have once again filed legislation to set up a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency in Florida. The filings come after House lawmakers unanimously approved a similar bill last Session, though the bill later died in the Senate.

The bill would help clear up some confusion after the 2019 ruling in Florida v. Espinoza, which bucked guidance from the Office of Financial Regulation and found that individuals who own bitcoins cannot sell them without a license.

GOP Sen. Jason Brodeur is the new sponsor for this year’s Senate bill (SB 486) after Sen. Jeff Brandes carried the measure last Session. Republican Rep. Vance Aloupis, who fronted the House version last Session, will once again take over in the 2022 Session.

“Cryptocurrency has exploded into the financial world and has provided us an innovative and efficient way to engage in the marketplace,” Brodeur said in a statement announcing the filing.

“States like Wyoming and Delaware have already taken the initiative and codified how this type of currency can be used; now it’s time for Florida to step up and join the 21st century.”

The legislation would redefine a “money transmitter” as “an intermediary that has the ability to unilaterally execute or indefinitely prevent a transaction,” such as a platform that enables cryptocurrency transactions. That would make clear individuals seeking to sell cryptocurrency are not subject to licensure requirements.

The measure would also better define cryptocurrency, or “virtual currency,” to open clearer regulation from state officials down the line.

“Florida has remained almost entirely silent on the issue of digital currency,” Aloupis said. “As the industry continues to grow, it seems like each day we’re reading about a new digital coin or a new-found use for blockchain technology. Florida’s business-friendly environment necessitates that our state take the necessary steps to establish a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency and the companies that follow.”

Brodeur’s Senate bill has already been assigned to the Banking and Insurance Committee, the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government, and the Appropriations Committee.

In the House, Aloupis’ measure will head to the Insurance & Banking Subcommittee, the State Administration and Technology Appropriations Subcommittee, and the Commerce Committee.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


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