On March 24, Utah modified its Unclaimed Property Act to include virtual currency in its definitions. The law includes virtual currency in the definition of property subject to abandoned property law, and defines virtual currency as “a digital representation of value used as a medium of exchange, unit of account, or store of value, which does not have legal tender status recognized by the United States.” However, the term does not include “(i) the software or protocols governing the transfer of the digital representation of value; (ii) game-related digital content; (iii) a loyalty card; (iv) membership rewards; or (v) a gift card.”
The exclusion of software or protocols shows that Utah has given some thought to the implications of including virtual currency in its abandoned property law. Companies that are holders of virtual currency belonging to Utah residents should determine whether virtual currency they hold is abandoned.
As a general rule, virtual currency subject to Utah law must be turned over to Utah three years after it has been presumed abandoned. The law contains a detailed test for when property has been abandoned and when the three-year clock starts ticking. For example, that clock is reset whenever the owner of the property indicates interest by increasing, decreasing, or checking the account balance. For more information, view the bill text here.