A bill in Nebraska that would authorise banks to sell cryptocurrency services is moving ahead.

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Nebraska senators also backed legislation that would enable state banks to encourage crypto transactions similar to those permitted in Wyoming.

Nebraska lawmakers are working on legislation that would authorise state banks to have cryptocurrency services.

State Senators supported the bill in the first of three mandatory votes in the legislature on Sunday, with 39 legislators voting to advance the bill for enrolment and preliminary review.

Introduced in January by Republican Mike Flood, Legislature Bill 649 seeks to enact the Nebraska Financial Innovation Act and create digital asset depository institutions, as well as provide for their charter, service, oversight, and regulation.

The initiative would reportedly make Nebraska the second state in the United States to set up a formal charter for cryptocurrency-powered banks, allowing them to facilitate crypto transactions. Wyoming was the first state to do so, chartering its first cryptobank in September 2020.

Senator Flood said that he proposed the bill after speaking with a friend who has wanted to join the cryptocurrency business in Wyoming. Flood said that the measure gives Nebraska the chance to be an early adopter of cryptocurrencies, which will help it profit from technology and finance jobs. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for not only my district, but the entire state of Nebraska,” he added.

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Some lawmakers challenged if it was appropriate for the state to enter the crypto room, voicing concern about the measure’s implications. Senator Steve Erdman allegedly said, “This bill is nowhere near being in a form where it could pass.”

Flood initially introduced two crypto-based bills, one of which specifies standards for banks including custodial services, providing classifications of intangible properties and related technologies such as smart contracts and private keys. After a similar hearing in February, the regulatory effort has stalled.

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