NH House of Representatives to Vote on Bitcoin Bill

Today, the New Hampshire House of Representatives will vote on bill 552-FN which proposes “an act requiring the state treasurer to develop an implementation plan for the state to accept Bitcoin as payment for taxes and fees.”

The bill is sponsored by Representatives Schleien, SPillane, Edwards, Zaricki, Ammon, Bouldin, Gallagher and Avard.

Jeremy Kauffman, CEO of TopScore, LBRY and part of the Free State Project is set to speak during the hearing and shared a copy of his prepared testimony for the analysis of interested parties (we’ve included the gist of the testimony below and highlighted the most relevant excerpts):

As an expert on these issues and someone would like to bring more technology jobs to this state, I would be remiss if I did not testify on this bill.

Along with most technologists, I am resolutely convinced that the innovations of Bitcoin will play a tremendous impact on the future of the world. However, that innovation also means changing the ways that things are done. Innovation can also upset people who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

Some states, like New York, have reacted to this change with fear. They’ve created a climate that is actively hostile to electronic currencies. What is the result? An exodus of startups from New York. Those aren’t my words by the way — they’re from Fortune magazine.

If you’re not a nerd under 35, you might not realize how much press this will get among a crowd of people that are tremendously desirable to this state. The types of people that bring jobs and tax revenue.

This bill is an opportunity. An opportunity for the New Hampshire legislature to broadcast to technology companies around the entire world that this is the place to come and build your business. The fact that this is a place where laws like this are even being considered caught my attention and was part of why I moved here. Please, do not pass up this chance to trumpet your support for innovation and technology.

What are the risks in liquidating the commodity?

Bitcoin processors offer an ability to convert to dollars instantly. You can be absolutely, 100% guaranteed that you will get the exact dollar amount specified as due by companies backed by hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital. Bitcoin processors are not dubious operations, they are highly reputable. Practically every major bank in the entire world is pouring millions of dollars into this technology right now.

Additionally, whichever processor lands the New Hampshire government will be a huge coup for the company. The ability to award this contract alone will offer immediate positive effects.

An analysis performed by the Treasury Department has concluded that if the bill were to be put in effect, the acceptance of Bitcoin could increase state expenditures since they would have to spend an inordinate amount of time and effort into educating staff as to how to handle such payments.

Meanwhile, both the Department of Revenue Administration and the Department of Administrative Services of the House state the bill wouldn’t have any fiscal impact whatsoever.