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U.S. state of Tennessee prepares to hold crypto as it seeks a vendor for digital assets

As cryptocurrencies become more accepted as an alternative to traditional forms of payment, governments around the world are beginning to explore ways to bring the novel asset class under their control and make them part of their operations.

One of them is the leadership of the U.S. state of Tennessee, which has started looking for a contractor that would hold cryptocurrencies on its behalf. As a matter of fact, the Tennessee Department of Treasury has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to describe how the custodian would handle the state’s crypto assets such as Bitcoin (BTC), as the Nashville Post reported on April 21.

Specifically, the RFP #30901-49622, or the ‘Request for Proposals for safekeeping and servicing of unclaimed securities and virtual currency’, reads that the state of Tennessee currently holds no digital assets and seeks to prepare itself “in the event that unclaimed virtual currency is remitted to the state’s unclaimed property program.”

Indeed, the state’s unclaimed property includes over $1 billion in assets, and the unclaimed property program aims to return the funds to their rightful owners or their heirs after locating them. The chosen custodian would need to hold any unclaimed digital currencies.

Conditions for potential custodians of unclaimed cryptocurrencies

As part of their applications, companies need to “provide a narrative that illustrates the Respondent’s experience in dealing directly with Unclaimed-Securities and virtual currency” or their “understanding of how Unclaimed Securities and virtual currency is unique to the custody services and how the Respondent will be able to fulfill those services.”

Furthermore, companies are to provide “a detailed explanation of the technology, services and processes they will use” for different types of cryptocurrencies which include, but are not limited to, Bitcoin.

On top of that, firms are also invited to propose a pricing structure based on their ability to manage a monthly cryptocurrency trading volume of $500,000 in crypto and 50 transfers or withdrawals of Bitcoin from an exchange every month.

A provisional date for announcing the winning vendor is May 10.

It is also worth mentioning that the state of Tennessee is something of a pioneer in terms of bringing Bitcoin into the mainstream. Namely, its city of Jackson became the first in the entire country to add the flagship digital asset as a payroll option for its employees, as Finbold reported in December 2021.

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