On Tuesday (March 17), the office of the governor of Hawaii issued a press release to announce that the state had launched its first pilot program for digital currency.
This two-year initiative, which is called the “Digital Currency Innovation Lab”, is a joint effort involving the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Division of Financial Institutions (DFI), and Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC).
The press release says that wants "to achieve a more in-depth perspective of digital currency" and to allow "digital currency issuers to do business in Hawaii without obtaining a state money transmitter license during the effective period of the pilot program." The lessons learned "will be used to guide legislation and determine the future of digital currency activity in Hawaii."
According to Iris Ikeda, Commissioner of Financial Institutions, DFI has promised (by issuing a “no action message”) that "no action will be taken against a company conducting what DFI would consider unlicensed money transmission activity, if the company is successfully admitted into the pilot program."
“DFI is leveraging its statutory authority to provide an innovative way to introduce digital currency issuers into the State of Hawaii, while ensuring the safety of our consumers.
"By acknowledging digital currencies as a transmission vehicle of the future, we will be able to craft legislation that is conducive to its development in Hawaii."
Companies can submit applications to the Digital Currency Innovation Lab until 1 May 2020.