Hawaii’s government has invited established crypto firms to join the Digital Currency Innovation Lab (DCIL) program, which seeks to boost financial innovation in the country. The government unveiled this news through a news release on January 25, noting that all interested firms should apply through the Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) website. The application deadline will be on February 27, 3:00 AM UTC, and the program is set to run until June 30, 2022.
According to the press release, this will be the second onboarding round. The first cohort came in August 2020, and it comprised 11 well-known companies. These are Apex Crypto, bitFlyer USA, BlockFi Trading, CEX.IO, Cloud Nalu, Coinme, ErisX, Flexa Network, Gemini Trust Company, Novi Financial, and River Financial.
The firms that will be lucky enough to join this group will enjoy the privilege of conducting business in Hawaii without having to get a state money transmitter license. DCIL noted that the Division of Financial Institutions (DFI) would issue the firms a no action message, which will prevent authorities from taking action against the companies through the course of the two-year program. However, the firms will have to adhere to other parts of money transmitter laws.
Striving to introduce financial innovation
This news comes after DFI and HTDC joined hands to form DCIL. Through this partnership, the Hawaiian government sought to create economic opportunities for its citizens by adopting digital currencies early. Additionally, the government sought to offer consumer protection by guiding crypto issuers. Apart from this, the government expects DCIL to provide data that will help create a regulatory framework that supports crypto.
Commenting on the program’s progress, Iris Ikeda, DFI’s commissioner, said that although the COVID-19 pandemic took its toll on DCIL, the program had a strong start. The project gained traction after the admission of the first cohort of companies. She went on to note that they are now ready to expand the program by welcoming established digital currency companies to join it in enabling financial innovation.
HTDC’s acting executive director added that,
The feedback we obtained from participating companies and consumers regarding the DCIL is encouraging. While the pandemic undoubtedly affected the local development of activities utilizing digital currency that we were initially hoping for, the excitement around its potential in Hawaii has not been dampened.
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