One vote was all it took for Colorado to be on the cutting edge of blockchain policy movement. But that one vote was overturned minutes later.
The bill that aimed to create a guideline to help the state determine whether virtual currency created with blockchain technology should be classified as a security. It died on Wednesday, the last day of the 2018 legislative session, reported The Denver Post.
Senator Tim Neville, who co-sponsored the bill, said he had hoped its passage would encourage blockchain innovation to move forward in the state instead of waiting for the US government to figure it out.
“We usually come together to create more opportunities for Colorado companies and startups,” Neville said after the bill was rejected. “In this case, this was an epic fail for those who chose not to support it.”
The bill had passed overwhelmingly in the House last week. But it became a dramatic moment in the final hours of the session in a vote that split both political parties. The Senate voted to give the measure final approval by a single vote, but moments later, lawmakers took another vote and shot it down 17-18.
Neville said the attorney general’s office and the Colorado Department of Regulatory Affairs opposed the bill because it would give too much leeway to unfamiliar territory. Neither office responded to The Denver Post’s request for comments.
One Republican, Senator Randy Baumgardner, switched his vote to yes, but Democratic Senators Lucia Guzman and Daniel Kagan flipped their votes to no.
“This is an opportunity for Colorado to say, ‘Look, we’re going to provide an environment that provides clarity for the sector. That doesn’t mean charlatans can violate security laws,’ ” said David Gold, a venture capitalist with Westminster-based Access Venture Partners, which has invested in blockchain startups.
“Those who oppose it simply don’t understand it.”
Blake Cohen, a co-founder and the CEO of Denver-based Salt Lending, said blockchain has a huge learning curve, and he believes legislators will come around.
“There’s too many questions people had, and we understand that,” he said.
Source: The Denver Post