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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Where Did Hawaii Go Wrong with Bitcoin?

Where Did Hawaii Go Wrong with Bitcoin?

The recent news of Coinbase suspending its services to the residents of Hawaii took many by surprise. The cryptocurrency wallet and exchange services, one of the big names in the industry made the hard decision after the Division of Financial Institutions introduced a new regulation that classified the company has a money transmitter. As per the new classification, Coinbase was not only required to get a license, but also match the value of bitcoins held on the platform with an equivalent fiat reserve.

The regulation in question that forced Coinbase out of Hawaii seems to be flawed on many counts. For starters, the Hawaii DFI has directly equated Bitcoin with money, which is not really the case. Without a proper understanding of the asset, the business model followed by Bitcoin companies and the difference between money and bitcoin, the regulators have imposed hurdles to the development of a crypto-economy.

“While the state gives lip service to the idea that we foster high-tech companies in Hawaii, a careless or hostile regulatory environment for new technology tells entrepreneurs and investors that doing business in Hawaii comes with unnecessary hassles and risks.”

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