New York Becomes the First State in the U.S. to Have a Crypto Task Force

Siamak Masnavi

On Wednesday (2 January 2019), New York State Assemblyman Clyde Vanel announced via a press release posted to his Facebook account that his state had become the first in the U.S. "to create a cryptocurrency task force to study how to properly regulate, define and use cryptocurrency."

Vanel, who is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Internet and New Technology at the New York State Assembly, says that the creation of this crypto task force has been authorized by Assembly Bill A8783B, which had been "signed into law" on 21 December 2018 by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

According to the text of the bill, the purpose of the New York state "digital currency task force" is "to provide the governor and the legislature with information on the effects of the widespread use of cryptocurrencies and other forms of digital currencies and their ancillary systems in the state."

In his Facebook post, Vanel stated that:

  • "The members of the task force, appointed by the Governor, Senate and Assembly, are to submit reports by December 15, 2020. The members will include stakeholders such as, technologists, consumers, institutional and small investors, large and small blockchain enterprises and academics. The group shall report on digital currency, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology."
  • "In the early days, too often there were instances of Bitcoin exchanges getting hacked and people losing their holdings. In response to a major exchange compromise, in 2015, under Governor Cuomo, New York State’s Department of Financial Services promulgated the BitLicense to protect New Yorkers on cryptocurrency exchanges. New York was first to act and to this day, the BitLicense is modeled by many states and countries."
  • "It has been in ten years since the advent of cryptocurrency. It has been nearly four years since the implementation of the BitLicense. In the cryptocurrency space and technology in general, a few months is equivalent to years."

Here are some comments on this initiative from Vanel, his colleagues, and other interested parties:

Clyde Vanel:

"New York leads the country in finance. We will also lead in proper fintech regulation. The task force of experts will help us strike the balance between having a robust blockchain industry and cryptocurrency economic environment while at the same time protecting New York investors and consumers.”

New York State Assemblyman Ed Ra:

"New York must properly balance consumer protection with creating an environment ripe for investment and innovation in New York State. "Convening experts and stakeholders is a good step forward and I thank Assemblyman Vanel for this leadership on this issue."

New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim:

“I want to thank my friend and colleague Assemblyman Clyde Vanel for working hard and creating this task force to examine how we need to improve the way we view and embrace crypto currency and blockchain technology in New York. I look forward to working with him and others to bring in the next chapter of decentralization, which can help build more resilient local economies.”

Julie Samuels, Executive Director of Tech:NYC:

“Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology will, without a doubt, greatly impact finance and many other industries across the globe for years to come. New York’s cryptocurrency task force – the first of its kind in the nation – shows how our state is leading the way in studying and understanding these technologies to ensure they can thrive in a responsible and effective way, further solidifying New York’s position as a global hub for smart innovation.”

 

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