Cryptocurrency And Blockchain May Be Added To Michigan’s State Criminal Code

News | June 14, 2018 By:

Two new bills have been submitted to the Michigan legislature that provide legal definitions of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

House Bill 6257, introduced by representative Curt VanderWall, would amend the penal code relating to fraud and forgery of documents. According to the bill, any person who “falsely makes, alters, forges, or counterfeits a public record” and intends to “injure or defraud another person,” would be prosecuted of a “felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 14 years.” The bill would grant blockchain records an equal legal status.

House Bill 6258, introduced by representative Vanessa Guerra, adds both cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to the list of financial transaction devices, theft or fraudulent possession of which is a felony. The bill defines cryptocurrency as “digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, and that operates independently of a central bank.”

The bills, both introduced on June 12, have been referred to the Committee on Law and Justice. If passed, the amendatory acts of the bills would take effect 90 days after being enacted into law.

Michigan currently has no specific regulations regarding cryptocurrencies. However, the Michigan Department of Treasury issued a guidance concerning cryptocurrency in 2015, explaining how sales tax applies to crypto use. According to the guidance, a taxpayer accepting cryptocurrency in a retail sale transaction must convert the value of the cryptocurrency to USD as of the day and the exact time of the transaction. Additionally, “purchases of virtual currency — as contrasted with purchases made with virtual currency — are not subject to sales or use tax.”