Wyoming Lawmakers Pass Bill which Prevents Disclosure of Private Keys

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Key takeaways:

  • The legislature of Wyoming passed a law banning the forced production of a private key.
  • With one exception, it defends state-granted rights and digital identities.

Legislators in Wyoming have approved a bill which forbids the state’s courts from ordering anyone to reveal the secret keys to their digital assets.

On February 15, just one day after passing 31-0 in the Wyoming Senate, the bill was approved by a majority of 41-13 in the Wyoming House of Representatives. In the event that Mark Gordon, the governor of Wyoming, signs the bill into law, it will take effect on July 1. The new law states:

“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]”

Any private keys connected to one’s digital identity, digital assets, or any interests or rights that the private key offers are covered by the law. When a public key is unavailable or cannot reveal specifics about a digital asset, digital identity, or other interests or rights, it is a minor exception.

The new law will not prevent someone from being forced “to produce, sell, transfer, impart or divulge a digital asset, digital identity or other interest or right” that a private key may grant access to, according to the act.

However, it does not shield a person from being forced to divulge details about a digital asset, digital identity, or other rights or interests. “Production of private keys; prohibition” will be the title of the new act, W.S. 34-29-107.

The legislation governing private keys is part of Title 34, Property, Conveyances, and Security Transactions, and is found in Chapter 29, Digital Assets.

The measure was approved despite the fact that work on the private key law began as early as September 2019. One of the states in the United States that are considered to be the most crypto-friendly is Wyoming.

The initial state in the US to proclaim a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) as a limited liability business did so in July 2021. (LLC). In February 2022, it also considered issuing a state-issued stablecoin. However, it doesn’t seem that either of those initiatives has advanced much since then.

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