On May 26, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts signed Legislative Bill 649 into law. Senator Mike Flood is the one who championed the Nebraska Financial Innovation Act.
This Act sets up a state bank charter for what are called digital asset depository institutions.
Interestingly, a blockchain fintech firm known as Telcoin pieced the legislation together. Nebraska’s former Department of Banking and Finance director, now a Telcoin advisor, is named Mark Quandahl and he’s the primary organizer of the legislation.
Telcoin is based in Tokyo, Japan and specializes in financial services- such as a wallet to send money from- for digital assets, including cryptocurrencies. Telcoin is pursuing a market in Nebraska and other parts of the U.S. It’s said that Telcoin will relocate to Norfolk, Nebraska.
Telcoin describes the charter in a statement, saying, “The charter is the first of its kind to be shaped around consumers and connecting them to decentralized finance (DeFi) in a safe and regulated manner.”
We’re thrilled that #LB649, spearheaded by #Telcoin, has been signed into law in #Nebraska. Our deepest thanks to Senator @MikeFloodNE and the many supporters of this landmark legislation. An exciting journey lies ahead for #digitalassets in the Cornhusker state! pic.twitter.com/3wfqAM6dSN
— Telcoin (@telcoin_team) May 26, 2021
With this charter in place, banks can offer services for digital assets and are approved “SDPIs”. Special-purpose depository institutions (SPDIs) in Nebraska cannot accept fiat currencies. The minimum reserve requirement is $10 million and all digital assets will need to be in reserve. And a hotly debated condition resulted in a rule requiring institutions to mention “digital assets” before the word, “bank”.
What Preceded SPDIs in Nebraska?
Wyoming implemented SPDIs before Nebraska. Moreover, they acted on the legal status of DAOs back in March. There, Bitcoin and altcoin cryptos have even been given legal protection under commercial law. With help from Wyoming, Kraken became the first officially recognized state-level crypto bank in America.
Step aside, Wyoming, the state government officials in Nebraska are planning to make their state a hub for digital asset corporations and individuals immersed in blockchain-based financial products and services.
Can and will other states take actionable, crypto-inclusive measures and follow suit?