Surprise Wyoming has emerged as the top-ranked U.S. hub in CoinDesk’s crypto ranking, beating out other well-known cryptocurrency destinations like New York, Austin, and the West Coast tech hubs. While most of the U.S. crypto hubs were affected by a middling crypto regulatory score, Wyoming stood out in terms of having a high quality of life, which was the second-heaviest weighted criteria. Additionally, the state boasts eye-popping per-capita figures for crypto, blockchain, and Web jobs, companies, and events, which comprise the opportunities category.
Wyoming has been on a campaign to become the most crypto-friendly state, and it seems to be working. This year alone, the state has passed over 13 laws regulating different aspects of the crypto industry, including exempting utility tokens from securities regulation and exempting virtual currencies from state property tax. The state has also recognized the new kind of bank, a special-purpose depository institution (SPDI), that serves as a regulated custodian for crypto assets.
The greater regulatory certainty is attracting crypto businesses such as the major exchange Kraken and IOG, the organization behind the Cardano cryptocurrency. It’s also bringing well-paying tech jobs to the state. Steve Lupien, director of the Center for Blockchain and Digital Innovation at the University of Wyoming, said, “We’re seeing a lot of companies that are moving to Wyoming. Last time I checked, there were over 70 companies that domiciled in Wyoming, and there are probably more now. It gives my university graduates an opportunity to work in the digital-asset space and not have to leave the state.”
While Wyoming may not have a lively business or cultural scene compared to other more populous crypto destinations, the state is passing crypto legislation at a pace unparalleled elsewhere in the country. David Pope, co-founder of the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition, said regarding the state’s upcoming stablecoin, “It will give Wyoming some notoriety.” Steve Lupien added, “It’s really exciting to see that Wyoming now has a reputation in the digital-asset space, and we’re a player in that space.”