Two identical bills in Tennessee have been put forward to prevent retirement funds from investing in cryptocurrencies. Two more that legalize Blockchain use for electronic transactions are also working their way through the House of Representatives and the Senate, according to legislative tracking site Legiscan. House Bill 2093, introduced on January 30, 2018 by Republican representative Michael Curcio, proposes prohibiting “the trustees of any defined contribution plan or related investment vehicle established as a health benefit by the state insurance company from investing in any cryptocurrency.” Another line was later added to the bill, clarifying that trustees cannot invest in crypto “notwithstanding any law to the contrary.” House Bill 2093 is set to move to the Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee on March 14.
Senate Bill 2508, which has already passed by a vote of 10-0 in the Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee on March 6, was introduced by Republican Senator Bill Ketron on February 1, 2018. Senate Bill 2508 has been recommended for passage to the Senate Calendar Committee. The text of the senate bill is virtually identical to that of the house bill, and also plans to amend Title 8, Chapter 27, Part 8, by adding the following section: “Nothing in this part prohibits a local education agency from participating in any other post-employment benefits investment trust.”
In conjunction with the bills banning retirement fund crypto investment, two other bills regarding the legalization of Blockchain technologies have been passing in through Tennessee legislature. Tennessee House Bill 1507, introduced on January 10, 2018 by 12 Democratic and Republican representatives, seeks to “[recognize] the legal authority to use Blockchain technology and smart contracts in conducting electronic transactions; protects ownership rights of certain information secured by Blockchain technology.” Senate Bill 1662, which is again identical in text to the Blockchain House Bill, has passed in the Senate on March 8, 90-0. The Senate bipartisan bill was introduced by two Democratic Senators, Lee Harris and Jeff Yarbro, along with two Republican Senators, Steven Dickerson and Richard Briggs. Cryptocurrency regulation attracted bipartisan movements in mid-February of this year, for legislators on both sides of party lines have recently seen a need for regulation after the growing interest in cryptocurrency across the US.