Hawaii introduces crypto sandbox


That extra island paradise attached to the continental United States only by a border is now going to be a better place to do cryptocurrency business- at least, for a while.

An announcement March 17 from the Hawaii state governor’s office unveiled a project called the Digital Currency Innovation Lab, which is essentially an incubator for pilot programs involving digital currencies

“March 17 marked the launch of Hawaii’s first pilot program for digital currency, driven by a partnership between the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Division of Financial Institutions (DFI) and Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC),” reads the press release.  “This joint effort by the State of Hawaii, termed the “Digital Currency Innovation Lab” is a two-year initiative that aims to achieve a more in-depth perspective of digital currency and allows digital currency issuers to do business in Hawaii without obtaining a state money transmitter license during the effective period of the pilot program. The insights attained will be used to guide legislation and determine the future of digital currency activity in Hawaii.”

Reporting by Samuel Haig at Cointelegraph shows that after Hawaii instituted a double reserve requirement asking digital currency companies to hold both fiat and crypto currency in appropriate sums, many projects left the state. State officials are hoping that this new accommodation brings some of those operators back.

Companies can pay a $500 application fee to apply for the program by May 1 and must pay the state $1000 as a participation fee.

There’s also a two-year sunset for the programs accommodations, after which DFI will determine appropriate licensing for continued operations.

Lest readers imagine that Hawaii governer David Ige has been focusing on the wrong priorities, CNN reporting shows the governor did also address the virus the same day that the crypto sandbox press release went out.

“I am strongly encouraging our guests to postpone their vacations for at least the next 30 days and reschedule it for a later date.” Ige said at a press conference, as reported by a team of reporters in March 18 coronavirus news.

Other kinds of restrictions and cautionary steps followed.

“Additional steps are coming, as they will screen all passengers disembarking from cruise ships starting Friday,” the team writes. “Physicians will check the temperature of each passenger and conduct interviews about their health …The state is banning table service at restaurants, and the governor said all bars and clubs will be closed. Additionally, all gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited, including worship services.”