Blockchain Week in Review – March 2020 | Perkins Coie

Weekly Focus:

  • Hawaii Launches Digital Currency Sandbox
  • Coinbase CLO appointed to Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
  • DHS Critical Infrastructure Memo Includes Blockchain Managers
  • Bank of Russia Reluctant to Legalize Cryptocurrencies
  • Approved Smart Contract Certification for Argentinian Gas Distributor
  • Thai Remittance Platform Uses Ripple
  • Bakkt Launches Partnership with Starbucks
  • Huobi Exchange Implements Liquidation Halt

US Developments

Hawaii Launches Digital Currency Sandbox

On March 17, Hawaii’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs announced the launch of its Digital Currency Innovation Lab pilot program in conjunction with the Division of Financial Institutions and the Hawaii Technology Development Corporation. The program allows digital currency issuers to do business in Hawaii without obtaining a state money transmitter license—Hawaii will take a “no action” stance with respect to the program’s participants’ unlicensed money transmission activities. Applications are being accepted until May 1, 2020. Program participants will have two years to engage in digital currency transactions in Hawaii. This program is similar to “sandbox” programs in other states, such as Wyoming and Arizona.

Hawaii’s sandbox program is also an important step in easing the burden on licensed money transmitters. Coinbase pulled its operations from Hawaii in 2017 because the Hawaii Division of Financial Institutions required Coinbase to maintain liquid asset reserves equal to the aggregate face value of its digital asset holdings. The requirement to keep redundant collateral at such levels has kept many cryptocurrency businesses out of Hawaii.

A press release from Hawaii’s governor, the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, and the Hawaii Technology Development Corporation is available here.

Coinbase CLO appointed to Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

On March 16, the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)…

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