After El Salvador, could the US state of Arizona become the following territory to make Bitcoin legal tender?
Senator Wendy Rogers, a Republican, has introduced a new Senate Bill which would make Bitcoin a legal tender across the Grand Canyon State.
The bill, SB 1341, seeks to amend the list of accepted legal tender to include bitcoin, which means the cryptocurrency would be accepted for paying a debt, public charges, taxes, and other dues.
Since taking office last year, Wendy Rogers has been quite controversial, particularly involving conspiracy theories on many subjects. Rogers has ties to the anti-government group Oath Keepers and praised conspiracy theory group QAnon.
The US Constitution, an obstacle to the adoption of Bitcoin (BTC)?
Indeed, a provision of the US Constitution Article I, Section 8, Clause 5 ‘Coinage Power‘ explicitly excludes the possibility for a State of the United States to adopt any currency as legal tender other than the US dollar.
The Coinage Clause is worded as follows: “The power
to coin money and
regulate the value thereof has been broadly construed to authorize regulation of every phase of the subject of currency. Congress may charter banks and endow them with the right to issue circulating notes, and it may restrain the circulation of notes not issued under its authority.”
In other words, only the United States Congress can decide which currency may or may not be legal tender in the country. Even if the Senate of Arizona adopts Bitcoin as legal tender, this adoption would only be symbolic. It will not be possible to accept payments in BTC, taxes, etc., unless and until congress approve it.