Cryptocurrency Legislation Landscape in Oregon, 2024

As of 2024, Oregon’s approach to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology legislation reflects a cautious yet progressive stance. The state’s legislative framework primarily focuses on incorporating blockchain technology in various sectors while maintaining a watchful eye on the rapidly evolving cryptocurrency market.

1. Regulatory Framework for Virtual Currencies:

Oregon’s Money Transmitter Act does not explicitly include “virtual currencies” or “monetary value.” However, public statements by the State have clarified that the Act’s definition of money encompasses virtual currencies, including Bitcoin. This interpretation suggests that businesses dealing in virtual currencies may fall under the regulatory scope of the Money Transmitter Act in Oregon.

2. Proposed Legislation on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency:

Several bills have been introduced in Oregon that hint at the state’s interest in exploring the potential of blockchain technology. For instance, H.B. 2487, introduced in January 2019, proposed that the Oregon Department of Administrative Services should study and make recommendations regarding the use of blockchain technology by state agencies in administering public services. Similarly, H.B. 2179, introduced in 2019, aimed to establish a task force on blockchain applications and legislation.

Another significant proposal, S.B. 703, sought to establish a Task Force on Protecting Health Information, emphasizing the inclusion of experts in blockchain technology. These proposals indicate Oregon’s interest in understanding and potentially utilizing blockchain technology across various state functions.

3. Enacted Laws and Regulations:

Oregon has adopted regulations relevant to virtual currencies and blockchain. For example, the Oregon Department of Human Services has adopted a regulation to set a policy on how virtual currency or cryptocurrency will be treated for determining eligibility in APD medical and self-sufficiency programs.

4. Cryptocurrency in Government and Politics:

Notably, Oregon has taken steps to distance its government and political system from cryptocurrencies. H.B. 2488, adopted in 2019, prohibits the state government from accepting payments using cryptocurrency and forbids politicians from accepting crypto campaign contributions. This move reflects a cautious stance towards the integration of cryptocurrencies in government and political financing.

5. Data Center and Cryptomining Penalties:

In a more recent development, Oregon lawmakers have considered legislation that would place penalties on energy-intensive data centers and cryptocurrency mining operations that fail to conform to the state’s clean energy goals. House Bill 2816 aims to align these operations with Oregon’s climate objectives, signaling the state’s commitment to environmental sustainability in the face of growing digital infrastructure demands.

In summary, Oregon’s legislative approach to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology is characterized by a blend of cautious regulation, exploratory initiatives, and environmental considerations. The state’s actions reflect an acknowledgment of the potential benefits of blockchain technology while remaining vigilant about the challenges and uncertainties surrounding cryptocurrencies.


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