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After Coinbase fled the state due to “untenable” crypto regulations, Hawaii is now reconsidering its position. A press release indicates that the state will open its beaches to blockchain firms and explore new policies to turn Hawaii into an “early adopter.”
Hawaii Stakes SandBox on Local Beaches
The state of Hawaii may soon open its crypto beachhead.
The two-year pilot program will allow officials to explore more amenable crypto regulations, read the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ (DCCA) press release.
Called The Digital Currency Innovation Lab, the program is a joint initiative between the DCCA, Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC), and the Division of Financial Institutions (DFI).
The application process began on Tuesday and will continue until May 1. The application costs $500.
Once inducted, companies will have the necessary money transmitting license waived. These companies will also have to pay an additional $1,000 per term that they participate in the program.
In the past, authorities demanded companies servicing Hawaiian residents to hold cash equivalents backing any crypto holdings.
This caveat meant that companies would have to siphon funds used to pay operational costs would instead need to be held as collateral at all times.
In 2017, Coinbase legal representative, Juan Suarez wrote that the company “cannot accept this tradeoff.”
Many other crypto businesses have avoided Hawaii for similar reasons.
HTDC’s acting executive director, Len Higashi, hopes this will change following the sandbox initiative. The director said:
“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.”
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