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US Senator proposes bill making Bitcoin legal tender in Arizona

Arizona State Senator in the United States Wendy Rogers has introduced a bill that will add Bitcoin into one of the state’s legal tender on January 2022. The effects of such a change will allow those who visit and reside in the state to use Bitcoin as a means of payment for bills, taxes, public debts, salaries and more. 

A basic copy of the proposal titled ‘Bill SB 1341’ was shared by the Arizona State Legislature website under Rogers’ representative in January 2022. It proposes to amend the Arizona Revised Statutes by adding a ninth chapter on Bitcoin becoming a legal tender. 

The proposed chapter delved into the meaning of legal tender: 

‘Any medium of exchange that is authorized by the United States Constitution or Congress for the payment of debts, public charges, taxes and dues’. 

Additionally, it also defined Bitcoin as a decentralised peer-to-peer digital currency that operates independently of any central bank and uses the Bitcoin blockchain to permanently record all transactions.

As of now, only Bitcoin has been mentioned in the bill and no other specific information has been released. The announcement comes several months after Rogers posted on Twitter last September 2021 that she would work to turn Arizona into a crypto-friendly state.

The bill has been received with criticism by the public, especially since the United States constitution does not allow an independent state to change their currency from the U.S. dollar to a different currency. This is indicated in Section 10.C1.2.2.1 of the constitution. 

For the bill to be turned into law, it must first pass through Arizona’s state senate and house and be approved by Governor Doug Ducey. If successfully passed, then it will go into effect by the end of 2022.

This has not been the first time that a state or even a country has decided on incorporating Bitcoin into the economy. El Salvador made history last 2021 and became the first country to support Bitcoin as legal tender. Since then, other countries, cities and states have considered following suit. 

On the other hand, the state of Texas in the United States is also under a similar situation as governor candidate Don Huffines promises to try and make Bitcoin legal tender if he wins the upcoming election. 

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