Steve Demetriou, Ohio State Representative

Exciting news from Ohio! State Rep. Steve Demetriou has put forth the Ohio Blockchain Basics Act, a bill designed to protect the use of Bitcoin and other digital assets as peer-to-peer mediums of exchange.

This legislation is a game-changer, advocating for Americans’ financial freedom by safeguarding their rights to engage in the buying and selling, mining, and self-custody of bitcoin, along with operating personal blockchain nodes. It even suggests that digital assets used as a medium of exchange should receive the same tax treatment as legal tender.

Discover the Vision of Steve Demetriou

In a recent tweet, Steve Demetriou shared his vision for Ohio to lead in the blockchain and digital asset spaces through this groundbreaking legislation.

Ohio State Rep. Steve Demetriou speaks to the Ohio Blockchain Council about HB406 (the Blockchain Basics Act) — Source

“This legislation that I recently introduced will lay the foundation for Ohio to become a leader in the blockchain and digital asset industries,” stated Demetriou.

The bill includes clauses to prevent fees, taxes, or assessments on digital assets used for transactions and proposes evaluating Bitcoin spot ETFs for pension fund investments.

The legislation asserts:

“The general assembly shall not enact a bill that proposes to impose a fee, tax, assessment, or other charge on digital assets used as a method of payment for goods and services that is based on the use of the digital assets as a method of payment.”

Ohio’s proactive step makes it the 16th state this year to enact such laws, reinforcing Bitcoin in the face of potential federal scrutiny.

Upholding Standards for Digital Asset Operators

Meanwhile, proposals put forth by Democratic lawmakers like Senator Elizabeth Warren aim to impose stricter reporting requirements on digital asset industry players to combat illicit use.

Senator Warren emphasized that “crypto is enabling rogue nations, drug lords, ransomware gangs, and fraudsters to launder billions in stolen funds, evade sanctions, fund illegal weapons programs, and profit from devastating cyberattacks.” She added:

“Our expanding coalition shows that Congress is ready to take action – our bipartisan bill is the toughest proposal on the table cracking down on crypto’s illicit use and giving regulators more tools in their toolbox.” 

Biden Administration and the Digital Asset Landscape

Although the Biden administration had considered imposing stringent reporting requirements and increased taxes on digital assets, these measures have been put on hold for now.

Under Biden’s proposed budget, high-net-worth individuals could face a 44.6% capital gains tax rate if earning over $1 million annually.

Moreover, a legislative amendment request in Virginia authorized regular banks to offer Bitcoin custody services, and Wyoming enacted laws supportive of digital assets, including provisions for Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs).

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