New York Creates U.S. First Crypto Task Force

News and Analysis

New York State became the first state in the nation to create a cryptocurrency task force to study how to properly regulate, define and use cryptocurrency. According to a press release published on Wednesday, January 2, The Digital Currency Study Bill, A8783B/S9013, was signed into law last week by NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The members of the task force, appointed by the Governor, Senate and Assembly, are to submit reports by December 15, 2020. The members will include stakeholders such as, technologists, consumers, institutional and small investors, large and small blockchain enterprises and academics. The group shall report on digital currency, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

Commenting on the initiative, New York State Assemblyman and Chair of Subcommittee on Internet and New Technologies Clyde Vanel said:

“New York leads the country in finance. We will also lead in proper fintech regulation. The task force of experts will help us strike the balance between having a robust blockchain industry and cryptocurrency economic environment while at the same time protecting New York investors and consumers.”

New York has already developed its own landmark regulation around cryptocurrency businesses in the form of its controversial BitLicense. Only 14 licenses have been granted since the regulation was introduced four years ago.

Julie Samuels, executive director of a nonprofit organization representing New York City tech companies, Tech:NYC, said that “cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology will, without a doubt, greatly impact finance and many other industries across the globe for years to come.”

In recent years, U.S. lawmakers have been acknowledging that in order to regulate the crypto space, they must first better understand it. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill last year proposing a similar task force to analyze cryptocurrencies, albeit with a focus on financial crimes. That bill is currently sitting before the U.S. Senate.

On a state level, California is likewise forming a blockchain working group tasked with studying how the state might utilize blockchain technology.

In June, Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy signed SB 443 into law, which established a blockchain working group to study the technology. The law also established time-frames for investigating and providing reports on the potential use of crypto in criminal activities.

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