NH Governor Signs Bill Protecting Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency From Regulation!

Bitcoin NH License Plate

Now Protected in NH

On Friday, New Hampshire’s new governor Chris Sununu signed a bill, HB 436, which makes NH the first state to explicitly protect cryptocurrency like Bitcoin from regulation!

This is a historic day and this move clearly positions New Hampshire as the most bitcoin-friendly state in the United States. NH was already the #1 most free state according to the “Freedom in the 50 States” study and this makes it even more free. New Hampshire also now stands in even more stark contrast to New York, the least free state, since New York a couple years ago did the opposite and attacked cryptocurrency businessess with their oppressive “bitlicense”, which drove bitcoin businesses OUT of NY. Now those businesses can escape safely to NH as this just-passed bill offers them a safe haven from the ravaging, destructive effects of government interference.

NH’s new cryptocurrency protection language is very simple and clear. It adds an entry to the money transmitter statutes that exempts:

Persons who engage in the business of selling or issuing payment instruments or stored value solely in the form of convertible virtual currency or receive convertible virtual currency for transmission to another location.

Liberty Lobby‘s Darryl W Perry, who headed up a campaign to contact the governor about this issue said, “After nearly three years of trying to get virtual currency explicitly exempt from money transmitter laws in the Live Free or Die State, I am happy to see this first major obstacle cleared.”

In 2015, a bill (HB 666) was passed that spooked many in the international bitcoin community as it added cryptocurrency to the “money transmitter” statutes. This caused at least one bitcoin business to cease doing business with customers in New Hampshire and quite a bit of buzz about New Hampshire losing its vaunted crytpo-friendly status. How did this happen in a state with the largest concentration of bitcoin enthusiasts per capita? Honestly, we were caught off-guard, but now that’s all changed. In 2016 a state house committee to study cryptocurrency was formed, whose meetings I attended and video recorded.

Representative Barbara Biggie of Milford

Representative Barbara Biggie of Milford, Sponsor of Bitcoin Protection Bill

After hearing from multiple NH bitcoiners in the committee meetings, state representative Barbara Biggie stepped up and filed this bill. As Darryl and I pointed out at the hearing, the bill as filed wasn’t quite what we’d hoped for. It created a new definition and exemption for “virtual currency” in the statutes, but still left in statutes a definition and regulation for “convertible virtual currency”. We explained to them that this was confusing and they should be striking the regulation for “convertible virtual currency” rather than creating the additional terminology.

You know what? They listened AND did us one better! The commerce committee amended the bill and turned it into the best possible protection for bitcoin businesses in New Hampshire! (more…)

4/20: State Representatives Smoke Cannabis at NH State House with Crowd of 100+

Several longtime cannabis freedom activists at the 2017 Concord smoke-out.

Several longtime cannabis freedom activists at the 2017 Concord smoke-out.

Since 2009, on April 20th at 4:20pm people from across New Hampshire gather in front of the State House in Concord to commit mass civil disobedience by smoking, vaporizing, or otherwise consuming cannabis in public. As has happened in previous years, we were again joined by multiple state representatives including Libertarian Caleb Dyer of Pelham, NH as well as Keene’s Ward One Democrat, Joseph Stallcop, and Republican Glen Aldrich of Gilford.

Representatives Dyer and Stallcop were both featured speakers and also toked up with a crowd of over 100 people while representative Aldrich took photos, as he has done for years at the rally. Also photographing the event was Granite Haze of Mind blogger Justin Campagnone – you can check out his albums here. I had the honor of video recording the event, including all the speakers. I’ll be posting each speech to the Free Keene YouTube channel, so be sure to subscribe and click the notification bell on the YouTube channel to see the videos as they are released! Meanwhile, here’s a video with some highlights of the event to tide you over:

This year’s event began with speakers at 3pm including representatives Dyer & Stallcop, me explaining the right of Jury Nullification, and Libertarian Party of NH chairman Darryl W Perry. The overcast weather threatened rain which thankfully never materialized and the temperature was cool and pleasant with a couple dozen already in attendance at 3pm by the street, smoking cannabis and chalking messages on the pavement. As we closed in on 4:20pm (the time that cannabis is used in celebration globally) the numbers of attendees swelled to easily over 100 people.

Just a portion of the excellent crowd, photos courtesy Justin Campagnone

Just a portion of the excellent crowd, photos courtesy Justin Campagnone

Event organizer and executive director of the 420 Foundation, Shire Dude emceed (and live streamed) the event. As the crowd gathered directly in front of the state house close to 4:20, we heard from speakers including Carla Gericke of the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence, the executive director of the NH Cannabis Freedom Festival, Rick Naya, and medical cannabis consultant John Padellaro who told us how cannabis helped him with his inoperable brain growth. Padellaro also said, “I don’t support legalization. I support ending prohibition.” This sentiment was echoed by speakers Perry and Gericke, with Gericke also calling on New Hampshire’s new governor, Chris Sununu, to pardon all peaceful drug offenders and end funding for “Granite Hammer”. Perry and representative Dyer’s speeches focused on the current legal status and future of cannabis reform in New Hampshire while Naya reflected on the previous 420 rallies and people we’ve lost to prohibition. In his off-the-cuff speech, representative Stallcop of Keene told the attendees, “we need to stop looking at each other in terms of left or right. I see, in all honesty, there is right and there is wrong…We will stand together as one people and say that this is our decision, this is our choice.” (more…)

NH Bitcoiners Speak to Senate Committee About Bitcoin Protection Bill – VIDEO

Bitcoin NH License Plate

Bitcoiners Love NH

The New Hampshire house of representatives recently passed a historic Bitcoin protection bill, that if it makes it through the senate and governor will make New Hampshire the opposite of New York. New York is infamous for its “bitlicense” regulations that drove multiple bitcoin businesses out of the Empire State. In contrast, New Hampshire, if this bill passes, would become a state with explicit protection against regulating Bitcoin businesses as “money transmitters”.

Last week, HB 436 had its public hearing before the senate commerce committee and a bunch of bitcoiners from across the state came out to sign and testify in favor of the bill, which would help ensure Bitcoin businesses continue to launch in and relocate to New Hampshire. It would further solidify New Hampshire’s place in the world as a cryptocurrency hotspot.

The speakers in favor far outnumbered those speaking against, which was really only the NH banking commission, who obviously does not want to lose hold of any of their precious power.

Those who spoke were on point and did a great job communicating with the senators on the committee. Turns out that two of those senators, Andy Sanborn and chairman Daniel Innis both already own bitcoin!

Will the bill pass the senate and be signed by the governor, or will the banking bureaucrats pull out all the stops to crush it? Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest on the NH Bitcoin scene.

Here’s the full hearing video:

Liberty Lobby – Week 12 – Videos

Liberty Lobbyist Darryl W Perry and I went to the state house this week to testify on more legislation. Here are seven full hearing videos from last week:

HB 580 would regulate fantasy sports websites operating in New Hampshire. Liberty Lobbyist Darryl W Perry and I both testified against. Here’s the full hearing video:

HB 228 would allow minors to legally transport alcohol with certain family members present in-car. I testified in favor. Here’s the full hearing video: (more…)

Liberty Lobby – Week 9 – Videos

Liberty Lobbyist Darryl W Perry and I went to the state house this week to testify on more legislation. Here are three full hearing videos from this week:

SB 23 would legalize firecrackers in New Hampshire. Everyone except the fire marshall testified in favor of this legislation. This is the full hearing video:

SB 144 would expand access to the medical cannabis program in New Hampshire. Liberty Lobbyist Darryl W Perry commented in favor. This is almost the full hearing only missing a moment of the initial speaker: (more…)

Liberty Lobby – Week 8 – Videos

Liberty Lobbyist Darryl W Perry and I went to the state house this week to testify on more legislation. It was a short week, however, and I only have two full hearing videos to share:

HB 161 would close the loophole allowing untaxed beer sales at farmers’ markets. This is the same bill that was heard in week 2’s videos, but in front of a different committee. Darryl and I testified against it. Here’s the full hearing video:

HB 103 would require government schools to send parents notice of any sexually objectionable course material. Here’s the full hearing video: (more…)