Oklahoma Senator Working on Bill for State-Backed Blockchain Institution

Oklahoma senator Nathan Dahm wrote a new bill for his state which looks to build a state-backed innovative financial institution around blockchain technology, establishing a new classification of institutions.

“I’ve always been interested in cryptos since bitcoin first came out but once I heard what Wyoming (especially Rep Tyler Lindholm) was doing I decided to pursue something in Oklahoma,” Senator Dahm told Cointelegraph in a Jan. 17 email, responding to a question on what sparked his interest in such a bill.

Dated Jan. 15, 2020, the bill noted that the state-chartered financial institution will be “the central depository for virtual currency used by governmental agencies in this state.”

Detailing the bill

Adding further details, the text explained the movement essentially will prevent regulatory stifling, allowing innovation to grow, while also protecting citizens.

The document noted:

“The purpose of this new state-chartered financial institution shall be to provide valuable financial and technical services to blockchain and virtual currency innovators and developers.”

Pending submission

Regarding bill approval, Senator Dahm explained to Cointelegraph:

“The bills would have to be given a hearing in committee when we start session in February. In the past the chair of the committee originally expressed interest until the lobbyist for the banking commission convinced her to oppose all crypto bills. So the main thing that needs to happen is education since so many legislators base their decisions on what lobbyists & donors tell them when they don’t have an understanding of the concept (like cryptos & blockchain) for themselves.”

The bill looks to assign Oklahoma an active role in innovation. “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,” the bill reads.

According to the details provided, the bill will be introduced on Feb. 3, 2020 and come into play on Nov. 1, 2020.

UPDATE Jan. 18, 20:00 UTC: This article has been updated with comments Cointelegraph received from Senator Dahm after initial publication.