Uphold, SoFi join Hawaii cryptocurrency pilot

The number of cryptocurrency companies allowed to operate in Hawaii grew to 15 today, with the State of Hawaii’s Digital Currency Innovation Lab (DCIL) announcing the admission of four new U.S.-based digital currency companies. The second cohort of the DCIL includes Uphold, SoFiBitStopProvenance Technologies, which join 11 other participants accepted into the lab last August.

Admittance into the DCIL enables the companies to conduct business in Hawaii without first obtaining a state money transmitter license. The companies are still required to comply with other sections of the money transmitter laws.

The two-year pilot program formed through a partnership between the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Division of Financial Institutions (DFI) and Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC). It concludes on June 30, 2022, with a winddown period lasting until December 30, 2022.

“Despite knowing that they have only one year to operate in Hawaii, we received interest from 14 applicants for this second cohort,” says Iris Ikeda, Commissioner of Financial Institutions.

“The DCIL provides a valuable opportunity for digital currency companies to partake in the conversations around legislation pertaining to money transmitters at the state level,” Ikeda explains. “Similarly, the state benefits as well – through transactional data, feedback and ideas provided by the participants.”

Len Higashi, Acting Executive Director of HTDC is optimistic that through the lab, the State will be able to achieve a good balance between ensuring consumer protection and fostering innovation.

“We are excited to welcome cohort two into the DCIL and look forward to leveraging them for their expertise to drive some of our engagement initiatives for the public and businesses in Hawaii,” he said.

For more details on the pilot program and to stay up to date with developments in the DCIL, visit the HTDC website at: www.htdc.org/programs/#dcil-section.

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