Virginia Senate Committee Recommends Funding for AI and Cryptocurrency Commissions

Virginia Senate Committee Recommends Funding for AI and Cryptocurrency Commissions

A Virginia Senate Committee recently put forward a recommendation for an annual combined fund allocation of $39,240 to support two newly established commissions focused on artificial intelligence (AI) and cryptocurrency. This funding proposal, presented by a Subcommittee of Virginia’s Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee, allocated over $23.6 million to various legislative departments. Among these allocations, the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Commission (SB 439) and the Artificial Intelligence Commission (SB 487) received proposed funding amounts for the years 2025 and 2026.

The Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Commission, created in January 2024, is set to receive a general fund allocation of $17,192 over a two-year period. The commission’s main responsibility is to study blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, provide recommendations, and promote their growth within the state. The Commission will consist of 15 members, with seven legislative and eight non-legislative members appointed within 45 days of the act’s effective date.

Similarly, the Artificial Intelligence Commission, which is currently under review by the Committee on Communications, Technology, and Innovation, has been recommended to receive funding of $22,048 for the same two-year duration. The commission’s objective is to develop and maintain policies that regulate the use of AI to prevent unlawful activities and ensure ethical implementation.

The legislation to amend the Code of Virginia and establish the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Commission was introduced on January 9 and received unanimous approval from the Senate on February 1. Virginia has been proactive in creating legislative bodies dedicated to fostering the growth of the crypto and AI industries. In addition to these commissions, the state has recently introduced crypto-mining legislation aimed at providing favorable conditions for individuals and businesses involved in mining activities.

Senate Bill No. 339, proposed by Senator Saddam Azlan Salim, seeks to exempt miners from obtaining money transmitter licenses and prohibits mining-specific ordinances in industrial zones. The bill clarifies that individuals engaged in home digital asset mining or digital asset mining businesses are not required to obtain licenses under the specified chapter. However, companies offering mining or staking services must file a notice to qualify for the exemption. Furthermore, the legislation proposes allowing individuals to exclude up to $200 per transaction from their net capital gains for tax purposes when using digital assets for purchasing goods or services, incentivizing the use of cryptocurrencies for everyday transactions by offering tax benefits.

Benefits for Police Officers and State Employees

Police officers and other state employees in Virginia’s Fairfax County will potentially benefit from retirement with dividends from Bitcoin thanks to a new $40 million crypto venture fund by digital asset management firm Morgan Creek Digital. The fund is backed by two separate pension funds that collectively manage $1.2 billion in assets for the state’s police force and other employees: Fairfax County, Virginia’s Police Officer’s Retirement System and Employees’ Retirement System. Part of the $40 million fund has already been invested in startups such as Bakkt and Coinbase.

Virginia’s proactive approach to funding commissions dedicated to AI and cryptocurrency, as well as the introduction of favorable legislation for crypto-mining, demonstrates the state’s commitment to fostering growth in these industries. With the potential benefits for police officers and state employees through crypto investments, Virginia is positioning itself as a forward-thinking and innovative state in the realm of emerging technologies.

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