Arizona Senator Bill to make Bitcoin Legal Tender

  • Arizona Senator Wendy Rogers hopes to make Bitcoin a Legal Tender in Arizona
  • Will likely face resistance due to Federal laws and politics
  • Technically US law does not allow states to recognize new legal tender
  • Official recognition from the United States could push Bitcoin above its previous high of $69,000

Arizona would be the first state to recognize a cryptocurrency as legal tender. This would set the path for the Western world to make cryptocurrencies as official legal tender. Numbered SB 1341 the highly anticipated bill has ignited a hot topic for discussion. The date for holding the discussion in an official manner has yet to be decided.

Senator Wendy Rogers (Republican) put forward the bill. She served in the US Air Force for 20 years, and holds a Masters of Science from California State University.

Expert Commentary

“The Coinage Clause of the Constitution means that the power to determine what is and isn’t legal tender in the United States is the exclusive province of Congress,” said Preston Byrne, partner at law firm Anderson Kill. “If enacted, [the bill] would be largely symbolic.”

“Arizona could certainly pass a law like this and the state government could choose to accept bitcoin as payment for Arizona taxes, but this would not change the legal treatment of Bitcoin as property from a federal tax perspective,” said Byrne. “I also don’t think such a law could obligate Arizonans to accept bitcoin in a constitutionally acceptable way.” 

“Aside from the legality though, it begs the question of whether digital assets are actually ‘currencies’ or forms of ‘money,’” said Steve Gannon, attorney at Murphy and McGonigle. “In addition, for what purposes would Arizona be accepting digital assets as ‘legal tender?’ If it is simply another method of payment with respect to state contracts, that may be a limited use case that is worth an experiment.”

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