United States leading exchanges namely ErisX & bitFlyer are among 12 cryptocurrency firms chosen to pilot Hawaii’s cryptocurrency regulatory sandbox which will permit digital asset service providers to try to to business within the state without obtaining a money transmitter license for a 2 year period, the businesses announced recently on Wednesday.
In line with the official press-release published by ErisX, the pilot program, offered via the Digital Currency Innovation Lab, a collaboration between Hawaii’s DFI [Department of Financial Institutions] & HTDC [Hawaii Technology Development Corporation], marks the return of cryptocurrency firms to the state and is the primary regulatory sandbox of its kind in Hawaii.
Although the DFI didn’t exactly ban crypto assets when the state implemented the “double-reserve requirement” earlier in 2017 – that required companies to carry reserves in fiat currencies matching the amount of cryptocurrencies held by their clients – exchanges like Coinbase said “aloha” to the state, leaving as they saw the necessity as a costly burden.
But earlier in January this year, Hawaii introduced a new bill that permits financial institutions to hold virtual assets.
Also later in March, the state went a step further to potentially relax the stringent rules for virtual asset service providers by launching the Digital Currency Innovation Lab to deal with the heavy regulatory requirements and “create economic opportunities for Hawaii via early adoption of crypto currencies.”
In line with ErisX General Counsel Laurian Cristea, following the launch of the lab, Hawaii invited cryptocurrency firms to apply for participation within the pilot program.
With the addition of Hawaii, ErisX, that pioneered cryptocurrency futures trading within the United States, is now operational in 49 out of 53 possible U.S. states and territories, consistent with the exchange.
According to a recent press-release, global cryptocurrency exchange bitFlyer, whose U.S. affiliate is headquartered in San Francisco, added that the “sandbox initiative marks the return of cryptocurrency exchanges to Hawaii, with the ultimate goal of seeing exchanges like bitFlyer promoted to full licensees within the mere future.”
The complete list of participants includes BlockFi, CEX.io, Apex Crypto, Cloud Nalu, Coinme, Flexa, Gemini, Novi, River Financial and Robinhood Crypto.