Hawaii invites cryptocurrency companies to join program

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LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 07: A visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin on December 07, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaii’s digital currency sandbox is seeking to expand the playing field.

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The Digital Currency Innovation Lab (DCIL) will be accepting a second round of applications from new cryptocurrency companies to join the program.

DCIL is the state’s pilot program that allows digital currency issuers to do business in Hawaii without obtaining a state money transmitter license.

The program officially started on August 19, 2020 and will be in effect until December 31, 2022.

The second round of approved applicants will join 11 companies from the program’s inaugural group last August: Apex Crypto, bitFlyer USA, BlockFi Trading, CEX.IO, Cloud Nalu, Coinme, ErisX, Flexa Network, Gemini Trust Company, Novi Financial and River Financial. As of January 13, 2020 – Robinhood is no longer a participant.

“Despite the pandemic, the DCIL had a strong start and we have experienced positive traction with the first cohort of companies,” Division of Financial Institutions (DFI) commissioner Iris Ikeda said in a news release this week. “We are ready to grow our program and welcome established digital currency companies to join us in enabling financial innovation.”

According to the news release, newly admitted companies will have the opportunity to do business in Hawaii without a state money transmitter license through June 30, 2022.

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) officials said this was made possible with the issuance of a “no action message” by DFI. This means DFI will not take any action against the program’s participants during the two-year period of the program. However, the cryptocurrency companies will still be required to comply with other sections of the money transmitter laws.

Companies interested in joining the second round should apply here by Feb. 26, 5 p.m.

Click here for more details on the application and the DCIL pilot program.

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