New North Carolina Blockchain Initiative Launches by State’s Lieutenant Governor

North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest has announced that his state has started a blockchain initiative.

In his website, Forest said that the state is forming the North Carolina Blockchain Initiative to study the unique attributes and use-cases of blockchain technology, virtual assets, smart contracts, and digital tokens.

According to Forest the initiative will be non-partisan and will come up with various recommendations on how the state can promote opportunities to enhance economic growth, cost efficiencies and aims to strengthen North Carolina as a leader in technological innovation.

The initiative will be co-chaired by three people; the North Carolina Digital Economy Hub’s Faruk Okcetin, Daniel Spuller from the Chamber of Digital Commerce; and Eric Porper from the Warp Institute. Members of the North Carolina Blockchain Initiative cover a wide array of experience, knowledge, and expertise including technologists, attorneys, bankers, entrepreneurs, government officials, leaders in the blockchain community, and policy analysts.

Lt. Governor Forest was optimistic that the initiative will provide a mechanism that will help the state government’s service delivery. He stated:

“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.”

Ahead the Pack in Blockchain Matters

North Carolina was among the first states to formulate a mechanism to guide the regulatory development of blockchain-based initiatives. The state passed the North Carolina Money Transmitters Act of 2016 which updated the existing state laws to include the definition of virtual currency as well as clarifying the form of activities using virtual currency requires to be licensed as per the act. This made sure that exemptions for virtual currency miners and blockchain software providers comprising of smart contracts platforms, colored coins, smart property, multi-signature software, and non-hosted, non-custodial wallets.

The passage of House Bill 289 marked a historic moment for the regulation of blockchain technology at the state level and came after 16 months of deliberations between the Office of the Commissioner of Banks, the General Assembly and the Chamber of Digital Commerce. The passage of HB289 was considered a turning point in the history of blockchain regulation in the United States, paving a path for other states to pass responsible legislative initiatives nationwide.

During the passage of the bill Perianne Boring, president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, stated that North Carolina had made history as it offered an alternative, legislative based mechanism to industry-specific rulemaking.

You can follow the process and submissions to the initiative’s team here.

Is North Carolina becoming a pace-setter to other states in the US on how to deal and embrace blockchain and cryptocurrencies? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section.

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