Cryptocurrency bill heads to Senate floor

'It says that virtual currency is a medium of exchange; it is not currency.'

The Senate Appropriations Committee gave approval Wednesday to a bill that defines how Bitcoin and other so-called cryptocurrencies could be sold or traded by money services companies in Florida.

With no debate or questions Wednesday, the committee unanimously sent Republican Sen. Jason Brodeur’s legislative attempt (SB 486) to define the rapidly-growing cryptocurrencies to the Senate floor.

The bill sets out to create legal distinctions differentiating how two people trading or selling cryptocurrencies with each other would be considered and treated differently from someone or a company acting as a broker or bank.

Those conducting third-party transfers would be regulated as money services businesses governed by Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation, like other financial institutions.

The bill would require the cryptocurrency money services businesses to meet various thresholds for holding real currency liquidity, having corporate surety bonds, and maintaining certain market values.

The cryptocurrencies themselves would not count toward those thresholds. The bill defines them not as actual currency, but rather as something that has a measure of stored value that could be converted to currency. In other words, crypto assets would not count toward minimum balances of money that a money services business would have to have on hand.

“One of the things the bill does — importantly — it says that virtual currency is a medium of exchange; it is not currency,” Brodeur said later, after the committee had unanimously approved his bill. “Things can have monetary value and not be a currency. We needed to say that in statute.”

He drew the comparison to a rare and valuable baseball card. “That has value, but it’s not a currency. Now, there may be some car dealership that’s willing to trade you a Toyota for a Mickey Mantle card. But you can’t go to McDonalds to get a burger. It’s not currency like a U.S. dollar.”

“So we have to establish in statute that Bitcoin and Ethereum have monetary value and are not a currency,” he added.

Brodeur noted the cryptocurrency field is evolving rapidly, so, “we probably are going to have, every other year, some kind of bill, as we discover things that we never thought of before in this area.”

The House counterpart (HB 273) from Republican Rep. Vance Aloupis has made it to the House floor.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


  • Matthew Lusk

    February 10, 2022 at 9:11 am

    What is “currency?” It’s current debt. The word Is derived from the phrase current debt, not a stream’s current as the banking crime syndicate would have one believe. So, yes, Bitcoins are not a currency. They are most kin to the defunct green stamps. Bit coins monetary value is in the eyes of the beholder, the electronic digits value could be high one day and worthless next year depending on desire. Contrasted to private federal reserve dollars, another form of mostly electronic digits, dollars are also fungible but considered debt. Once openly stated, the currency was Debt for gold or silver, now the promise is only for more electronic digits. So is the life of the banking crime syndicate. What keeps the dollar fungible is the law that says taxes must be paid in private federal reserve denominated dollars.

  • Pablo

    February 10, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    This is a slippery slope and government will make every attempt at screwing it up. I think this is going to have an impact on how this “medium of exchange” is taxed.

Comments are closed.


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