New York State Assembly Bill A523, introduced by Democratic Assembly Member Clyde Vanel, looks to clarify that agencies of the state can legally accept cryptocurrency as payment.
It is crucial to understand that the bill does not force state agencies to accept crypto payments, but it does make it clear that the courts should enforce these agreements.
New York is taking crypto payments
The bill defines cryptocurrency as any digital currency that uses encryption techniques to regulate the generation of currency units, including but not limited to bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, and bitcoin cash.
The bill also acknowledges that some cryptocurrencies have an ‘issuer‘ and allows state agencies to charge an extra fee if a fee is charged by the cryptocurrency’s issuer.
For the bill to be enacted, it needs to gain approval from both the New York Assembly and Senate and be signed off by Governor Kathy Hochul.
It is worth noting that the New York state government has had a historically hostile relationship with cryptocurrency. In November 2022, a bill was passed in New York that prohibited the majority of cryptocurrency mining operations within the state.
Furthermore, the state’s restrictive ‘BitLicense‘ law, which requires all crypto exchanges to acquire, has been heavily criticized.
In April 2022, the mayor of New York even called for the repeal of the BitLicense law. Thus, this bill could be seen as a “step in the right direction” in terms of the state’s stance on cryptocurrency.