Hawaii is launching a pilot program for a digital currency. The collaborative initiative is backed by the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Division of Financial Institutions (DFI) and Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC).
The “Digital Currency Innovation Lab” is a two-year effort designed to explore the use of a digital currency in the real world. Digital currency issuers will be able to conduct business in Hawaii without having to obtain a state money transmitter license during the effective period of the pilot program.
Legislators will examine data from the trial to shape informed decisions about the practicalities of implementing a digital currency in the future.
The state will tap various companies for the pilot test.
Says Iris Ikeda, Commissioner of Financial Institutions,
“DFI is leveraging its statutory authority to provide an innovative way to introduce digital currency issuers into the State of Hawaii, while ensuring the safety of our consumers. By acknowledging digital currencies as a transmission vehicle of the future, we will be able to craft legislation that is conducive to its development in Hawaii.”
Len Higashi, acting executive director of HTDC, is pushing for Hawaii to become a leader in the digital economy by being an early adopter.
“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.”
The Digital Currency Innovation Lab will start accepting applications from March 17, 2020 to May 1, 2020 online.
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