Michigan lawmakers have voted to introduce amendments to various sections of the Michigan Penal Code, specifying that cryptocurrency would be included in provisions relating to money laundering, embezzlement, credit card fraud and financial transactions involving the proceeds of a criminal offense.
The legislation also prohibits the collection of cryptocurrency — or any currency — for the fighting, baiting or shooting of an animal.
State Rep. Ryan Berman told the Detroit News that the bill was inspired by a case of a dog-fighting ring, wherein the organizer was prosecuted, but not individual participants, as they placed their bets using cryptocurrency, which was not expressly prohibited under the law.
Berman continued that the new bill provides a much-needed update to current criminal codes, some of which were written in the 1990s. He added:
The legislation also defines cryptocurrency as “digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, and that operates independently of a central bank.”
The House of Representatives voted 108-1, meaning that the bill will now go to the State Senate for further consideration.