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Illinois Lawmakers Want The State To Be More Welcoming To Bitcoin

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Illinois lawmakers say they are treading carefully as they look at the development of Bitcoin and other so-called cryptocurrency.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation issued a report in which it would not classify cryptocurrency as money. But State Representative Jaime Andrade, who chairs the House Committee on Cyber Security, Data Analytics and IT said, hold on a second.

Andrade said a Senate bill indirectly recognizes cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin is a new digital currency held electronically with no physical backing. Andrade said he and Representative Mike Zalewski have created a new cryptocurrency subcommittee, which will hold hearings to educate the public.

"New York went in and overregulated it and what ended up happening was a lot of those companies left the state," Andrade said.

They want Illinois to be more welcoming.

Andrade said there are people people who have mortgaged their homes to invest in bitcoin and other digital currencies gaining in popularity. So he wants safeguards. But he said the new cryptocurrency subcommittee will not seek to overregulate.

"With myself and Zaklewski working on this together I think we will be able to make sure we protect the consumer, but at the same time, we work with the companies and all the other organizations to make sure the state of Illinois is an inviting environment for this type of technology," he said.

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