Legislators in Wyoming have approved a bill forbidding state courts from ordering anyone to provide private keys to their digital assets and cryptocurrency. However, the law will not apply is if the public key cannot be used to provide information about the digital asset. This includes digital identity, interest, or right. The new law is dubbed “Production of private keys; prohibition” (W.S. 34-29-107).
The bill states,
“No person shall be compelled to produce a private key or make a private key known to any other person in any civil, criminal, administrative, legislative or other proceeding[s]”
The bill was passed on Feb. 15th in the 67th general session of the Wyoming House of Representatives. The law will go into effect on Jul. 1st if the governor of Wyoming, Mark Gordon, approves it.
The legislation also notes that it will not prevent someone from being forced “to produce, sell, transfer, convey, or disclose a digital asset (such as cryptocurrency), digital identity, or other interest or right.” A person can still be forced to disclose information about the digital asset.
Will similar cryptocurrency laws take shape in other states?
Wyoming is one of the most cryptocurrency-friendly states in the United States. In July 2021, it became the first state in the United States to officially recognize a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) as a limited liability business (LLC). Additionally, the state had previously ideated issuing its state-owned stablecoin in February 2022. However, those attempts haven’t developed very much since then.
However, whether such laws are developed in other states is yet to be seen. Some states in the U.S. have taken a more open stance toward cryptocurrencies and digital assets. According to a 2022 study, Nevada is the most Cryptocurrency-friendly state in the U.S. Nevada is followed by Florida and California. However, no other state has such a law to protect users’ private keys.
Wyoming’s latest move comes amid the cryptocurrency market making fresh gains. The global cryptocurrency market saw rejuvenated interest as Bitcoin (BTC) made gains of up to 10.7% on the daily charts. Moreover, the global cryptocurrency market cap increased by 8% in 24 hours, reaching $1.16 trillion. The renewed interest is most likely riding on the ease of regulation fears.