New York State Establishes Crypto Regulatory Task Force

The body is to review the virtual coin and blockchain markets as well as the existing legal framework in the state.

The US state of New York has set up a digital asset task force with the goal to review the regulatory environment in the state and to submit a report after conducting a two-year analysis, a local lawmaker said in a press release on Wednesday. Clyde Vanel, a Democratic Party member of the State Assembly, published the statement via his Facebook account, claiming that the working group is the first of its kind in the United States.

Vanel was one of the authors of a bill that obliged the state to establish the task force. On December 21, Governor Andrew Cuomo (Democratic Party) signed the bill, and the act took effect immediately. 

The special crypto group will have focus on several areas, among them reviewing the New York crypto and blockchain industries, studying the number of operating exchanges in the state and their respective daily trading volumes, and analyzing types of crypto market investors. The digital asset impact on tax collection as well as regulatory practices across the US and abroad are also part of the scope of the crypto task force.

The working group should publish its report before the legislation’s expiry date, which is December 15, 2020. The review may include “legislative and regulatory recommendations, if any, to increase transparency and security, enhance consumer protections, and to address the long-term impact related to the use of cryptocurrency.”

The task force is to include various stakeholders: academics, technology experts, retail and institutional investors as well as small, medium and large crypto and blockchain companies. It will have nine members appointed by the Governor (3 individuals), the Assembly and Senate majority leaders from the Democratic Party (4 members), and the both chambers’ minority leaders from the Republican Party (2 individuals).

“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,” Vanel said in the statement.

In 2015, New York became the first US state to introduce a special crypto permit, called a BitLicense. Several major players have already obtained the license, among them Winklevoss’ twins exchange Gemini and their competitor Coinbase.

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