North Carolina has taken a significant step towards adopting Bitcoin as a potential asset for its State Treasury. The state’s lower house recently approved the “State Precious Metals Depository Study” bill, which received bipartisan support and passed with a vote of 75-38. The bill aims to study the benefits of incorporating Bitcoin into the state’s Department of State Treasury.
If the bill eventually becomes law, it would allow North Carolina to explore the addition of Bitcoin and gold as assets to the state’s funds. This move marks a crucial development in acknowledging Bitcoin’s potential role in North Carolina’s financial landscape.
Dan Spuller, Head of Industry Affairs at Blockchain Association, emphasized the significance of the bill’s passage, stating that it represents a step towards formal recognition of Bitcoin in North Carolina. Spuller also highlighted that this is the second time in 2023 that a bill supported by the North Carolina Blockchain Initiative has received bipartisan support in the General Assembly.
It’s worth noting that in May, the North Carolina house unanimously passed another bill, HB690, which prohibits the use of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in payments within the state. This bill also prevents North Carolina from participating in any CBDC testing. While North Carolina is taking steps towards potentially incorporating Bitcoin, it is simultaneously expressing caution towards CBDCs.
The global landscape for CBDCs is rapidly evolving, with a recent survey indicating that 130 countries are exploring the development of their own central bank issued digital currencies. Major economies such as China, India, Brazil, and the European Union are among those actively pursuing CBDCs. In the United States, progress on a digital dollar is mainly focused on its use at the bank-to-bank level, with the retail digital dollar facing hurdles.
The North Carolina bill’s passage reflects the state’s willingness to delve into the world of cryptocurrencies and potentially incorporate them into its financial and treasury operations. As the use of digital currencies continues to gain traction globally, it is not surprising to see states and countries exploring their benefits and impacts in various financial and regulatory contexts.