On July 2, North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest announced the formation of a blockchain initiative that will study how this technology can be used as well as examine other issues such as virtual assets, smart contracts, and digital tokens.
This initiative has been created as a non-partisan initiative and will work to create a number of recommendations that will help to promote economic growth, better cost efficiencies, and strengthen North Carolina as a leader in technological innovation.
In a statement, the Lt. Governor explained that he hoped that this initiative would greatly transform the technological innovations in North Carolina. “It is my hope to provide a strategy to share with our General Assembly, Department of Insurance, Department of the State Treasurer, and other state agencies that will increase awareness streamline regulatory oversight, and modernize state government.”
Several key players will be involved in the new initiative. This includes bankers, entrepreneurs, lawyers, government officials, IT and software professionals, as well as leaders within the blockchain community.
North Carolina has established themselves as one of the leaders in this industry. Back in 2016, the state became one of the first to develop blockchain legislation. House Bill 289 expanded the Money Transmitters Act so that it would cover digital currencies such as SegWitCoin (BTC).
The act updated the existing law, officially defining what virtual currency is. It also provided exemptions for those mining virtual currency and developing blockchain based software, including smart contract platforms. At the time, the president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce explained that this move “made history” as it provided a legislative model specifically geared toward addressing issues related to cryptocurrencies.
The success in North Carolina has helped to further the national agenda related to blockchain technology. Representatives from four states – North Carolina, Ohio, Florida and New Jersey – have sponsored House Resolution 922, the Virtual Currency Consumer Protection Act. This bill has bipartisan support and calls for several agencies to work on regulations to ensure that the competitiveness in the crypto market is promoted.
The bill also creates a framework to provide consumer protections related to crypto exchanges. In fact, is intended for them to create a regulatory framework that provides for consumer protections, procedures for how exchanges will receive a license, as well as how the market will be supervised. Several bills have been introduced in the U.S. Congress prior to this, but none has had as much support as HR 922.
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