Nebraska Advances Bill to Allow Banks to Offer Crypto Services

  • The bill aims to adopt the Nebraska Financial Innovation Act and create digital asset depository institutions.
  • The initiative could make Nebraska the second U.S. state to set up a formal charter for crypto-powered bans, the first being Wyoming.
Nebraska flag

Nebraska flag. Shutterstock

Nebraska could soon allow state banks to offer cryptocurrency services to its customers thanks to an initiative from state legislatures.

On Sunday, Nebraska Senators voted on Legislature bill 649, which aims to adopt the Nebraska Financial Innovation Act, with lawmakers agreeing to advance the initiative. While this is only the first out of three votes required in the state, the bill received the support of 39 lawmakers — with only 1 being against it — who agreed to advance the bill for enrollment and initial review.

The bill was first introduced in January by Senator Mike Flood, who said it could facilitate the creation of jobs in the state. If approved, the state will adopt the Nebraska Financial Innovation Act, which will enable the creation of digital asset depository institutions and provide charter, operation, supervision, and regulation of such institutions.

The bill could potentially make Nebraska the second state in the U.S. to allow state banks to offer their clients cryptocurrency services. Back in September 2020, the Wyoming Banking Board approved Kraken’s application for a Special Purpose Depository Institution (SPDI), allowing the crypto exchange to create the first U.S.-based crypto bank. At the time, the CEO of Kraken, David Kinitsky, said in a statement:

“We’re thrilled to work in a state so aligned with our philosophy and values. Wyoming is a rare and shining example of how thoughtful regulation can drive innovation for FinTech companies.”

While the bill could encourage the inflow of innovative ideas into the state, some legislators expressed their skepticism. Senator Adam Morfeld said he supported the general idea but opposed parts of the bill, while Senator Steve Erdman said the bill was “not anywhere close to being in a form where it could pass”.

Related Coverage
Nebraska Passes Bill to Allow Banks to Offer Crypto Services
  • First introduced in January, the bill has received an overwhelming support from Nebraska lawmakers, and has passed its final vote with 46 to 2.
  • It enables financial institutions to operate digital asset depository businesses, for which the state will provide “charter, operation, supervision, and regulation”.
May 26, 2021, 4:08 PM
Nebraska on map


U.S. Lawmakers Reintroduce Bill to Separate Digital Tokens From Securities
  • If passed, the bill will define digital tokens as “assets whose creation and supply aren’t controlled by a central group”.
  • A second bill was introduced the same day, which calls for the creation of a working group to evaluate the current digital assets regulatory framework.
Switzerland Opens Consultation Process For DLT Laws
  • Scheduled to end in February 2021, the consultation process will be conducted among cantons, parties and other groups interested in blockchain and DLT.
  • The Swiss government amended several existing finance and corporate laws last month to include provisions for blockchain and DLT.