Capitol Watch: Senate Bill 2697 (2022)

The first crypto-related bill for this year’s legislative session has emerged. SB2697 has been introduced by senators Bennette E. Misalucha, Stanley Chang, and Glenn Wakai, intended to “exclude the electronic transfer of virtual currency through virtual currency companies and cryptocurrency companies from the Money Transmitters Act.”

Specifically, the bill amends Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 489D-5, which already excludes government activity from the Money Transmitters Act, to add “the electronic transfer of virtual currency through virtual currency companies and cryptocurrency companies.”

The bill also adds the following definitions:

  • “Cryptocurrency” means a virtual currency that uses cryptography to secure transactions that are digitally recorded on a distributed ledger, such as a blockchain.
  • “Virtual currency” means a digital representation of value that is not a real currency that functions as a unit of account, a store of value, and a medium of exchange.”

Introduced on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, SB2697 still needs to be put on the docket and scheduled for committee hearings to move forward. Visit the bill status page for more information and opportunities to submit testimony:

https://capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=2697&year=2022

This is one of likely several crypto bills to be introduced this session, as the pilot Digital Currency Innovation Lab (DCIL) is set to expire at the end of June 2022. Another bill, drafted by the Division of Financial Industries (DFI), is expected to be introduced tomorrow following the governor’s annual State of the State address.

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