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Hawaii lawmakers introduce bills to make state more cryptocurrency friendly

HONOLULU (KITV4) -- Several bill proposals under consideration in the legislature this session look to make Hawaii more cryptocurrency-friendly.

Sen. Bennette Misalucha, Sen. Glenn Wakai, and Rep. Patrick Pihana Branco are leading the efforts to get Hawai

i state lawmakers to consider the cryptocurrency-related legislation.

The trio has crafted four bills they say will make Hawaii a more conducive place for cryptocurrency exchanges.

“Hawai‘i can really become a leader in the world of cryptocurrencies if we took the right, necessary steps to appropriately regulate and monitor its growth and potential. The bills I introduced along with Senator Wakai and Representative Branco aim to provide various steps towards that goal and I hope my colleagues will join us in supporting Hawai‘i’s growing influence in this economic sector,” Sen. Misalucha said.

The bills introduced by Misalucha, Wakai, and Branco are as follows:

SB2695 – Establishes a Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Task Force.

SB2696 – Allows the Director of Finance to authorize any state agency to enter into virtual currency payment agreements with persons or virtual currency issuers to provide the acceptance of convertible virtual currency as a means of payment. Allows any state agency that enters into a virtual currency agreement with a person or virtual currency issuer as authorized by the Director of Finance to accept convertible virtual currency.

HB2287/SB2697 – Excludes the electronic transfer of virtual currency through virtual currency companies and cryptocurrency companies from the Money Transmitters Act.

SB2698 – Prohibits any encumbrance on the right to own, possess, and use any medium of exchange.

In addition to those bills, the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Division of Financial Institutions has also crafted bills to establish a program for the licensure, regulation, and oversight of digital currency companies, state officials said.


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