Arizona lawmakers working to make digital currency easier to use

PHOENIX - More people are using digital currency, and some Arizona lawmakers are trying to make it easier to use. 

Two bills have passed through the finance committee, one that would allow the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to be used to pay state taxes, the other protects it from capital gains like other currencies.

State Senator Warren Petersen, a Republican representative for District 12, says his constituents asked him to look into the idea of using cryptocurrency for taxes and the more people he talked to the more he realized how many Arizonans have already invested in the digital currency.

"Since I've started to work on this, I've been surprised how many people are holders of cryptocurrency, so probably more than you'd suspect," Petersen said.

He says the benefit to the state would be the ability to use block-chain technology, the foundation of digital currency that provides an accurate digital leger of all transactions and cuts out third-party credit agencies eliminating the risk of fraud.

Sen. Petersen says it would also save the state money by creating a more efficient way to receive payments. 

He says with the changing value of cryptocurrencies the state would have to set up a system for instant exchange, so payments are accurate.

Petersen says these bills will help keep Arizona at the forefront of this new technology.

"It took a long time for the state to start using the internet, it took a long time for the state to start accepting payments online so rather than us waiting 10 or 15 years I'm trying to have us get ahead of the game," Petersen said.

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