A bill, protecting cryptocurrency users from forced disclosure of their private key to the state courts, has been passed by Wyoming lawmakers. This is great news, although there are some exceptions.
The bill passed on 15th February by the Wyoming House of Representatives, with a vote of 41-13, while a day earlier it passed in the Wyoming Senate with 31-0. If Wyoming Governor, Mark Gordon, approves the bill, it will come into effect on 1st July.
No person shall be compelled to produce a private key or make a private key known to any other person in any civil, criminal, administrative, legislative or other proceeding[s]: incoming law in the state of Wyoming.
Private keys associated with digital identity, digital assets, and other intellectual property or rights that it can provide, are included in the new bill.
The exception to the disclosure is when the public key is unable to provide details of the digital identity, assets, or other information, as well as when the public key is unobtainable or is made unavailable to the public.
Moreover, the act does not bar one from being constrained “to produce, sell, transfer, convey or disclose a digital asset, digital identity or other interest or right” that a private key can provide access to.
Additionally, it does not hamper being obliged to “disclose information about the digital asset, digital identity or other interest or right.”
The new law, W.S. 34-29-107, is going to be labeled as: “Production of private keys; prohibition”, and comes under Chapter 29 — Digital Assets, a subset of Title 34 — Property, Conveyances and Security Transactions.
Wyoming has been long referred to as one of the most crypto-filled states in the U.S. Hence, the bill regarding the private key, was in the works since early September 2019.
Being the first state in the U.S. to recognize Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in July 2021, it has also been considering a state-issued stable coin in February 2022. Though, those attempts had seen little to no progress since then.