Hawaii Launches Cryptocurrency Regulatory Sandbox

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Hawaii has added its name to the growing list of locations welcoming cryptocurrency and blockchain developers as it launches a regulatory sandbox program. The State of Hawaii’s ‘Digital Currency Innovation Lab’ is actively seeking applicants for the two-year program, which will be used to “guide legislation and determine the future of digital currency activity” in the state.

Companies to Take Advantage of Regulatory Rule Relaxation

Hawaii’s Digital Currency Innovation Lab is a combined effort between the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Division of Financial Institutions (DFI), and Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) to see how digital currencies could benefit residents and aid the governing of the state.

The scheme, which will involve careful selection of companies, aims to take an in-depth perspective of digital currency while allowing digital currency issuers to do business in the state without obtaining a money transmitter license for as long as they are part of the pilot.

Len Higashi, acting Executive Director of HTDC, said in a press release that that lessons learned through the pilot program could assist the State in becoming an early adopter of digital currency:

By spearheading the Digital Currency Innovation Lab, Hawaii can position itself on the forefront of financial technology and potentially, reap the economic benefits that accompany the leadership stance taken.

US Still Playing Catchup

Hawaii is among the few American states taking the lead on crypto development, alongside Ohio and Wyoming, where other parts of the world have stolen a march on the US in this regard. Malta, Cyprus, Switzerland, and even parts of Russia have taken strides in recent years to welcome cryptocurrency companies and experiment with their offerings, but hopefully the results of Hawaii’s experiment can make clear the many benefits of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency and encourage others to take the plunge.