Wyoming Bill Helps Shield Citizens’ Private Keys From Government Intrusion

The bill protects investors from disclosing private keys unless absolutely necessary for the legal process

article-image

Source: Shutterstock / Randy Runtsch, modified by Blockworks

share

Wyoming, a historically friendly state for crypto companies and investors, has passed a bill prohibiting the forced disclosure of private keys. 

The measure, which will take effect in July, allows investors to withhold private keys “unless a public key is unavailable or unable to disclose the requisite information,” the bill read. 

In most legal matters, the court is able to obtain the required information without being given the actual private key, Christopher Allen, founder and executive director of Blockchain Commons, said on Twitter in May when advocating for the bill. 

“A judge can still achieve the desired outcome by compelling the use of private cryptographic keys (such as to turn over assets in a divorce proceeding, or to prove ownership of an asset) without requiring the disclosure of the key itself,” Allen said

Wyoming’s private key protection plans have been in the works since 2022 as the issue of forced disclosure started to pick up across the country. 

“There is no perfect analog for a modern cryptographic private key in existing statute or case law; it is unique in its form and function,” Wyoming State Legislature Senate minority leader Chris Rothfuss said in 2022. “As we build a policy framework around digital assets, it is essential that we appropriately recognize and reflect the characteristics of the underlying public / private key and cryptographic technologies.” 

The bill, passed Tuesday and titled “disclosure of private cryptographic keys,” is intended to advance lawful proceedings while also protecting investor privacy when possible, the text said. 

It is not the first time Wyoming has been at the forefront of progressive crypto policy. The state’s tax laws are attractive to businesses and traders looking to avoid personal and corporate income tax. 

Wyoming also legalized DAOs in 2019 and was a pioneer in crypto charter bank licensing, making it possible for crypto firms to both hold customer cash deposits and custody crypto — later able to be traded on exchanges.


Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.

Tags

Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Top Icon.png

Research

Osmosis thrived in H2 2023 on the back of increased DeFi activity deriving from recently launched Cosmos-related projects and better market conditions. With new value accrual mechanisms for the native token, Osmosis is well-positioned to continue its strong performance in 2024.

/

article-image

Celestia had the first mover advantage. EigenDA has staked ether. What sets Avail apart?

article-image

Bitcoin moved 1% higher Monday morning in New York, Matrixport analysts say $62,000 could happen next month

article-image

It’s hard to believe right now that crypto — even with all of its flexibility and massive capabilities — could ever be like cash on the internet

article-image

Michael Saylor announced Monday morning that MicroStrategy bought 3k more bitcoin after the X account was compromised over the weekend

article-image

Plus, Pudgy Penguins grows its brand and a group of Autoglyphs sell for $14.5 million

article-image

Plus, funds go to a platform making development on Solana easier