Rep. Jason Powell (D-Nashville) proposed the Tennessee House Bill 2644 on February 2nd, 2022 where a county, municipality, or the state is permitted to invest in cryptocurrency, blockchains, and non-fungible tokens. 

The progress for allowing the use and recognition of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has been gaining more momentum recently but was first initiated by Powell in January of 2018. At the time, Powell planned on “making sure we keep Tennessee on the cutting edge”. Rep. Pat Marsh (R-Shelbyville), the chairman of the Tennessee House’s Business and Utilities Subcommittee, stated that “Tennessee is ready for blockchain”. 

Four years later, clear guidance is being established within the Tennessee legislator to help the state follow through with their initial plans. House Bill 2644 is bringing that vision to fruition.  

Tennessee House Bill 2643 was also introduced on the same day in order to establish a blockchain and cryptocurrency study committee. The bill states that the committee will be able “to help determine how to make this state the most forward thinking and pro-business state for cryptocurrency and blockchain and to foster a positive economic environment for blockchain and cryptocurrency.”

Members of this committee will include: the commissioner of commerce and insurance, the commissioner of financial institutions, and three public members. The public members will have knowledge and experience with bitcoin and cryptocurrencies from an academic institution, financial institution, or experience in federal securities law. 

The members will be required to meet at least once a month and will not be compensated for their services. Their duties will include: review data information pertaining to bitcoin and cryptocurrency, determine whether or not current and future laws are in accordance with bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs. Additionally, they will consider ideas from industry experts, and compile an overview of potential legislation for bitcoin and cryptocurrencies within the state of Tennessee.

The Business and Utilities Subcommittee is assigned to review House Bill 2643 as things develop.

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