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Ron Kim, a Lawmaker From the NY State Assembly, Advocates Testing Local Digital Currencies

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by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
Ron Kim, a Lawmaker From the NY State Assembly, Advocates Testing Local Digital Currencies
Ron Kim. Photo: Ron Kim / Twitter

Assemblyman Ron Kim talks of having blockchain-friendly regulatory measures that could foster fintech innovation in New York.

In one of the recently presented bills, Ron Kim – a New York Assemblyman, has proposed to make use of digital currencies to support the local communities. If the bill gets passed in the New York assembly, it would mandate the New York urban development corporation to launch 10 different trial programs by creating local community currencies, either cryptocurrencies or another form of digital money, according to the public document.

This program is specifically aimed at encouraging residents to support their neighborhood ecosystems while spending locally. The public document mentions the use of decentralized blockchain technology to “allow us to implement this seamlessly by allowing consumers, citizens, and business owners to trade in and out from dollars to [cryptocurrencies] instantaneously,” and further states that it would have a “significant long-term social impact.”

The bill also reads that promoting the local use of virtual digital currencies will help to overcome all the negative perceptions surrounding the crypto-space and further adding that “more and more members of the younger generation are not only familiar with but expect widespread use of blockchain technology.”

It further continues stating:

“By giving new mission and purpose to this form of currency, we are empowering people to take ownership of local growth. By trading in their dollars for a local community currency, either in the form of a digital or cryptocurrency, people will keep their money in their neighborhoods, pay taxes, and also earn tangible rewards for positive civic action.”

In one of the statements, Ron Kim said:

“Community currencies are the next step in fostering regional economic growth and local civic participation,” adding that “every local dollar spent in a mom and pop store stimulates local job growth.”

Last month, in May, Ron Kim also proposed for a bill that asks the government to monitor the impact of its funding program using the blockchain technology. In the bill, Kim also talked about creating a conducive environment that could foster the growth of fintech and blockchain innovation by mitigating the strict regulatory burden imposed on the companies by BitLicense.

Kim also notes that ever since the New York State Department of Financial Services has introduced BitLicense in August 2015, it has proved to be a major roadblock in supporting important projects, as a result of which several businesses have moved outside the New York state. The data shows that under the strict and not so useful regulatory requirements of BitLicense only four companies have managed to achieve it. On the other hand, popular blockchain companies like Kraken and Shapeshift have moved their businesses out of New York.

“Blockchain technology will bring new levels of transparency to all manner of industries, including government accountability. As responsible custodians of our citizens’ taxes, we should be using the technology to rebuild the trust that has been lost between citizens and government by showing that the government is investing citizen dollars in programs that have real impact in their communities,” Kim said while pressing on the need to have a more friendly regulatory stand.

“As an example, ixo is developing the technology and tools to measure and verify social impacts, which enable projects to tie funding and investments to verified social outcomes and improve program interventions based on evidence. ixo has been piloting this with pre-school attendance records and government subsidies in South Africa. We should have the same transparency in New York. In order to stay competitive, New York needs to welcome innovative projects like ixo that are demonstrating the transformative social value of blockchain,” he further added.

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