Oklahoma lawmaker proposes state-chartered crypto depository

A lawmaker in the U.S. state of Oklahoma has proposed creating a state-chartered financial institution that, if approved, would serve as "the central depository for virtual currency used by governmental agencies in this state."

The measure, sponsored by state senator Nathan Dahm, seeks to provide a level of state-backed infrastructure for work done related to cryptocurrencies and blockchain. According to public records published via LegiScan, the proposed bill's introduction date is Feb. 3rd, indicating that the bill is at its earliest stages in development.

"This new financial institution shall be fully supported by blockchain technology and innovations. The new financial institution shall have the highest level of expertise with customer identification, anti-money laundering and beneficial ownership components," the bill notes, going on to further state:

"The new financial institution shall be designed to seamlessly integrate into existing banking and financial institution regulations that protect consumers while limiting regulations that restrict innovation and technological advances for new financial products, data transmissions and recordkeeping."

Even if passed, Dahm's bill wouldn't lead to the depository's creation overnight. Rather, it would empower Oklahoma's State Banking Department and the Department of Commerce to "coordinate and develop plans, make recommendations to the Legislature and establish requirements and a strategy" fo its launch. A report on the initiative would be due by July 1, 2021.

Even still, the bill strikes a lofty tone, seeking to establish the state as a welcoming place for businesses that work with the technology.

"Oklahoma is committing to partner with innovative technology, help develop next generation financial products, and safely grow unique technical and financial sectors in this state," it states. 

Dahm filed a bill last February that seek to establish when a digital token constitutes a type of security. He was also a sponsor of a separate piece of legislation, ultimately approved and passed into law last April, establishing that "a record or contract that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be in an electronic form and to be an electronic record."