Oklahoma’s Blockchain Basics Act Establishes New Standards

**Oklahoma Poised to Lead in Digital-Currency Legislation**

**Blockchain Basics Act Could Set Precedent for Other States**

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma could lead the way with the implementation of digital-currency legislation if a recently-passed measure is signed by the governor.

House Bill 3594 establishes the Blockchain Basics Act. According to a bill summary, the measure defines several terms related to blockchain and digital-asset mining and outlines prohibited actions from state and local governments that could hinder or restrict the use of digital assets for purchases, commercial asset mining, home asset mining, staking or operating nodes on a blockchain network.

The bill, authored by state Rep. Brian Hill, R-Mustang and state Sen. Bill Coleman, R-Ponca City, has passed both chambers and would become law Nov. 1 if signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt.

Storm Rund, president of the Oklahoma Bitcoin Association, said Oklahoma will set a precedent for other states with its blockchain-related legislation. He said as many as 10 others states have filed similar measures, but Oklahoma’s Blockchain Basics Act is further along in the process than any other piece of legislation that establishes a digital-asset mining framework.

“This is the first time that a state is really putting forth what I would consider a foundational piece of legislation (for blockchain),” Rund said.

The bill language states that Oklahoma shall not pass a law that would abrogate the right to self custody or mine Bitcoin or any other digital asset. It defines terms such as blockchain, digital asset, digital-asset mining, node, hardware wallet and staking.

Rund sees the bill as a win for both the state and those who are or intend to mine cryptocurrency or operate in the digital-asset space. He said having the right to stake cryptocurrencies and run full nodes are the most important aspect of decentralization.

During a time when some industry participants are concerned about potential overregulation on the federal level, the Blockchain Basics Act gives them peace of mind, at least in Oklahoma, Rund said, explaining that after passing this legislation that protects the right to run a node and mine, industry participants will consider Oklahoma as a destination to build a business.

“You have states like New York that have passed things that say if you want to operate in the state you have to get basically a license to permitting regime,” Rund said. “What that basically does is people who have deep pockets and compliance departments that can fill out sort of the honors applications that are difficult to get, do it and it discourages startups from just getting off the ground. Those types of companies have totally left places like New York, and the more and more that we see places like Oklahoma pass legislation like this, the more businesses we’re going to see started in Oklahoma.”

Rustin Cavel, co-founder of Coast, a digital asset management platform, said he and fellow co-founder Daniel Durning want to build their business in Oklahoma, and they see it as the right climate for the industry. The Blockchain Basics Act reinforces their decision.

Cavel said the act brings clarity and confidence that Coast can grow here. He said it also brings clarity to consumers who use their product.

“I think there’s many people who are crypto-curious and haven’t entered because there hasn’t been a ton of clarity from an FCC and federal perspective. But having these local bills passed definitely provides a lot of confidence for consumers and helps us to be able to protect and empower consumers who own these assets,” Cavel said.

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