In Hawaii, bills are crypto-friendly
As many as seven crypto-friendly bills were recently introduced by the Government of Hawaii. Commenting on the new bills, Senator Wakai said, “I think it’s time to put Hawaii on the map for cryptocurrency exchanges and become a place for the industry to grow locally and thrive.”
This represents a major change from the past, where Hawaii has been seen as extremely hostile to the cryptocurrency industry. Due to the current state of Hawaii’s laws, some of the major crypto exchanges such as Coinbase and Robinhood do not offer their services to residents of the state.
These new laws could help make the state friendlier to the crypto sector. In short, the bills seek to create a regulatory task force for the cryptocurrency industry. Furthermore, they would allow state agencies to accept cryptocurrencies as payment for services. Lawmakers who support the bills are quite optimistic about their success. If approved, they could turn Hawaii into the leading state in terms of crypto transactions.
The two main bills in this push to make Hawaii crypto-friendly are Bill 2697 and Bill 2287. These two bills would exempt crypto transactions from the state’s Money Transmitters Act. In its current form, the law has imposed stringent requirements on crypto transactions operating in the island state. As a result, most traditional exchanges have chosen to stay out of state.
According to Senator Joy San Buenaventura, the act currently requires money transmitters to have the same amount of money on hand that they invest in crypto. Senator Buenaventura added that it seemed like a good idea at the time. However, in practice, this means that people’s involvement is limited to extremely small transactions. The other bills are Bill 2695, which establishes a Blockchain and Crypto Task Force, and Bill 2696, which allows the finance director to authorize state agencies to accept crypto payments.
In Bill 2698, state lawmakers aim to make it illegal to prevent the right to own and use any media exchange, by mentioning mediums of exchange such as cash, coins, bullion and digital currency. In short, the bill will enshrine the right to own and trade using cryptography. The other two bills are Bill 3076 and Bill 2108, which would establish a state program to oversee the licensing of crypto exchanges in the state.
If passed, these laws could make Hawaii one of the most crypto-friendly states in the United States. Not only would they establish a mechanism to license crypto exchanges, but they would also make it illegal for state agencies to prevent crypto transactions.
The bills have faced some criticism due to the ecological impact of cryptocurrency mining on the environment. However, lawmakers noted that these were problems that could be overcome. Senator Bennette Misalucha noted that when the internet started, she also had some problems, but these problems were solved.
by Alessandro Crea
Monday 7 February 2022 11:00