New York Establishes the ‘Pioneer’ US Cryptocurrency Task Force

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by Wanguba Muriuki · 3 min read
New York Establishes the ‘Pioneer’ US Cryptocurrency Task Force
Andrew Coumo, Governor of New York. Photo: Diana Robinson / Flickr

New York always leads in the financial world. Recently, the state created a task force to determine the perfect balance to regulate cryptocurrencies expected to take over the global financial space.

The State of New York announced that it is officially launching a cryptocurrency task force. The state’s attempt to understand cryptocurrency markets and all their underlying blockchain technology inspired this move. Last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill authorizing the creation of this task force.

The announcement was made by Assemblyman Clyde Vanel who is a major sponsor of the bill. In his press release, issued on Wednesday, Clyde explained that the task force has the mandate to study blockchain technology. They will all study cryptocurrencies and all other digital currencies to determine the best regulations for the new market.

As we explained earlier that 2019 may be the year of crypto regulation, it seems New York has taken the lead towards that. The task force will feature institutional and retail investors, technologists, enterprises and academics representatives, and consumers.

The state Senate, Assembly, and Governor Cuomo will appoint members of this task force. The panel will table their reports on the new technology by December 15, 2020.

Tech Reports

The required reports will feature proposals on how the state may best regulate, utilize, and define cryptocurrencies. Also, the task force will determine the cost of mining cryptocurrencies, how crypto trade is done within the state. The effect of the new technology markets on tax collection is also a major concern for the state government.

New York already created a landmark regulation around the crypto businesses summarized in the controversial BitLicense. Since the regulation was introduced four years ago, only 14 licenses have been granted. Vanel’s press release acknowledged that the crypto space has changed considerably since the introduction of this regulation.

The report will also document the effect of regulations on the development of blockchain and digital currencies within New York. Various commentators agree that the blockchain technology will impact finance and most other global industries in the future. Vanel commented:

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

First Understand, and Then Regulate

Vanel proposed the creation of this task force in late 2017. He went ahead to introduce the bill in December 2017 together with several other measures. All these efforts aimed at enabling the state government to understand blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies and their possible uses. Fellow Assemblyman Ed Ra noted that:

“New York must suitably balance consumer protection with creating an excellent environment ripe for investment and innovation in New York State. Summoning experts and stakeholders is a good step forward and I thank Assemblyman Vanel for this intelligent leadership on this issue.”

Lawmakers agree that they need to understand cryptocurrency before trying to regulate it. The U.S. House of Representatives also passed a bill last year proposing a similar task force to focus on financial crimes. Currently, this bill is waiting before the US Senate. Other states opening up to the immense potentials of the blockchain technology include California and Ohio.

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