Financial Innovation Act signed into law, Nebraska becomes second state allowing crypto banks

LINCOLN — Nebraska is getting in on the cryptocurrency craze.

Gov. Pete Ricketts signed LB 649, or the Nebraska Financial Innovation Act, into law on Tuesday. The bill, authored by Sen. Mike Flood of Norfolk, establishes digital asset banks as a new kind of financial institution. The banks would allow customers to deposit cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin or Dogecoin.

Flood says the new law promotes economic development.

"My goal is to grow northeast Nebraska by helping to create high wage, high skill jobs,” Flood said in a news release. “This bill allows Nebraska to seize the opportunity to be at the front of the line when it comes to innovation in the new information economy. LB 649 is a historic step toward leading the way in fintech by attracting investment and reimagining the way we do business.”

Nebraska is the second state, after Wyoming, to allow for digital asset banks to receive charters.

The law requires the banks to place their principal operating headquarters and CEO in Nebraska.

“The Nebraska Financial Innovation Act will attract cryptocurrency operators that want regulation, structure and accountability to keep consumers safe and build upon the trust that fiat currency banks have earned for over 100 years,” Flood said.

At least two banks, Avanti and Kraken, have established charters in Wyoming.

Mike Flood is the founder of Flood Communications, which operates News Channel Nebraska.