A new bill brought before the Michigan senate committee would – if passed – create a new blockchain and cryptocurrency commission to establish use cases and further studies of digital currencies within the Great Lakes State.
Can the Blockchain Space in Michigan Be Expanded?
Over the past several months, we have been privy to a world where politics and crypto are becoming one and the same. A few months ago, Joe Biden issued a crypto executive order that would require agencies within the U.S. to examine and study the risks and advantages potentially brought about by the growing space. The order also opened the door to a digital version of USD in the future.
Thus far, politicians’ reactions to crypto have been mixed. Some are all for it, like Cynthia Lummis – a senator in Wyoming – and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang. During the 2020 election, Yang campaigned on implementing new methods of broadening the crypto space and making its regulations and rules more understandable.
By contrast, individuals like Elizabeth Warren – a senator from Massachusetts – seem intent on blocking all crypto development in the United States.
In Michigan, the new bill was brought before the senate Economic and Small Business Development Committee. Senate majority leader – a republican named Mike Shirkey – heard arguments surrounding the bill’s benefits and possibilities. Commenting on the situation, he stated:
I can envision, frankly, long-term, with a little bit of creativity, really changing the way Michigan is, in terms of tax structure and competitiveness, both from a personal standpoint and a commercial or business standpoint.
He further stated that the Michigan committee would need to look more at the impacts of using crypto for business and government transactions before it could make a viable decision. He continued with:
If we want to run the [cryptocurrency] adoption rate up, accelerate it so that Michigan is a leader here, let’s start doing things like letting people put a small portion of their — by voluntarily — a small portion of their pay in bitcoin. They’ll naturally then become more inquisitive. They’ll naturally follow it. They’ll naturally ask more questions.
Shirkey appeared rather bullish about the future of crypto and blockchain, claiming he hopes Michigan law can get out of the way enough to ensure innovation in the state’s blockchain scene could occur with ease.
Not Everyone’s Onboard
Some of those objecting to the bill claimed bitcoin and the mining process behind it contribute to environmental damage, an old argument to say the least but that one still seems to hold much prominence in the space. Bob Burnett – who runs a mining firm in the state – testified in defense of bitcoin mining, claiming:
You guys have a lot going for you here. Energy resources, you have great universities, you have the perfect climate, you have a lot of those things going for you.