Introduction to Cryptocurrency Taxation

On Wed, April 6, 2022 at 10:00 AM, Steven Baum, partner at Friedman LLP will provide a high-level overview of cryptocurrencies and how cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and various tokens are taxed, what the future holds for the industry, and what tax consulting and advisory services Friedman can offer.

Register here:

At Friedman, Steven contributes to projects spanning a range of industries including digital currency, emerging technology, software, telecommunications and consumer products.

He is a leader in the firm’s Public and Private Company Assurance group, where he helps clients address issues relating to digital currency and emerging technology, and assesses the potential impact of blockchain in various scenarios and industries. Notably, Steven works with colleagues within Friedman to develop software that is among the first generation designed to ensure the accuracy of audits involving digital assets, and to build audit procedures involving a unique class of assets. He brings substantive experience to transactional engagements involving Initial Public Offerings, Regulation A Offerings, Private Placement Offerings, business acquisitions, mergers and other equity or capital raises.

“DCIL Presents:…” is a series of webinars and events designed to educate and raise awareness around virtual currencies brought to you by the Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC), Digital Currency Innovation Lab (DCIL) and Entrepreneurs Sandbox.

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Six Crypto Bills Scheduled for Hearings

The sprawling set of proposed legislation to expand access to crypto in the state if Hawaii is starting to emerge at the Capitol, with six bills scheduled for their first committee hearings on Monday and Tuesday.

Notably, SB3025 and HB2018 are the first complementary House and Senate bills to get on the calendar.

Most of this sessions bills were drafted by Sen. Bennette Misalucha and Sen. Glenn Wakai, collaborating with Rep. Patrick Branco. Sens. Misalucha and Wakai head the Senate Committee on Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism, and the committee hearing on Monday includes only three of their crypto bills.

Here is a list of the bills with links to their status and testimony submission pages. Please note that testimony is always due 24 hours prior to the hearing date and time. For example, testimony on SB2695 is due by 3:10 p.m. on Sunday, February 6.

SB2695, creating a cryptocurrency task force, is scheduled for 3:10 p.m. on February 7, 2022.

SB2697, which excludes crypto exchanges from the Money Transmitter Act, is also scheduled for 3:10 p.m. on February 7, 2022.

SB2698, which advocates a constitutional change affecting all mediums of exchange, is also scheduled for 3:10 p.m. on February 7.

SB2696, the Wakai/Misalucha bill allowing state payments in crypto, is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 7.

SB3076, the DFI bill to expand licensing to include crypto exchanges, will be heard at 10 a.m. on Feb. 8.

HB2108, the DFI bill companion in the House, will be heard at 2 p.m. on Feb. 8.

Photo by André François McKenzie on Unsplash.

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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:

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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Jasper Wong NFTs Sell Out in 10 Seconds

From Hawaii Bulletin:

Renowned Hawaii artist Jasper Wong, perhaps best known for bringing bold, colorful art to the drab industrial walls of Kakaako, is now finding spectacular success in the world of virtual, digital collectibles. On Sunday, he and his collaborators launched — or “minted” — FOMO MOFOS on the Opensea NFT marketplace. All 8,008 unique characters sold out in ten seconds. In one day, the collection saw trading volume of roughly $8 million.

Jasper said:

I spent a good chunk of my life trying to support art, trying to find a way to provide platforms and raise them up through all these festivals I’ve been doing for the past decade. For the longest time being an artist was always hard. We’re always trying to make it as an artist, and we’re always told that we couldn’t.

Jasper said FOMO MOFO, and the broader NFT community, has “really touched me, touched my heart, and it means everything.”

Read the full article here.

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Hawaii Artist NFT Conversation

On Wednesday, Dec. 15, the DCIL will be hosting five of Hawaii’s leading artists who participated in the recent NFT For Good initiative, a collaboration facilitated by the DCIL between Worldwide Walls (POW! WOW! Hawaii) and MakersPlace, a NFT art platform to raise funds for a community beautification project in Hawaii. The artists will share their experiences about releasing their genesis NFT artwork and venturing into the NFT world for the very first time.

For more information about the NFT For Good project, visit

Photo by Khara Woods on Unsplash.

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Safety, Security, and Best Practices in Crypto

If you are considering venturing into crypto investment schemes, this is a must-attend webinar.

On Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021 at noon, attendees will learn how to perform basic due diligence, identify potential scams, adopt personal security practices when participating in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, and learn how common rug-pulls are performed. If you are considering venturing into crypto investment schemes, this is a must-attend webinar.

The presenter is Spencer Toyama, co-founder and operator of Sudokrew Solutions, a web technology development shop that provides engineering services for web technologies with a focus on servicing the humanitarian and sustainability sectors. Spencer is also a consumer advocate in the blockchain space and blogs about consumer blockchain safety and security.

Register here:

Photo by André François McKenzie on Unsplash

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Uphold, SoFi join Hawaii cryptocurrency pilot

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The number of cryptocurrency companies allowed to operate in Hawaii grew to 15 today, with the State of Hawaii’s Digital Currency Innovation Lab (DCIL) announcing the admission of four new U.S.-based digital currency companies. The second cohort of the DCIL includes Uphold, SoFi, BitStop, Provenance Technologies, which join 11 other participants accepted into the lab last August.

Admittance into the DCIL enables the companies to conduct business in Hawaii without first obtaining a state money transmitter license. The companies are still required to comply with other sections of the money transmitter laws.

The two-year pilot program formed through a partnership between the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Division of Financial Institutions (DFI) and Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC). It concludes on June 30, 2022, with a winddown period lasting until December 30, 2022.

“Despite knowing that they have only one year to operate in Hawaii, we received interest from 14 applicants for this second cohort,” says Iris Ikeda, Commissioner of Financial Institutions.

“The DCIL provides a valuable opportunity for digital currency companies to partake in the conversations around legislation pertaining to money transmitters at the state level,” Ikeda explains. “Similarly, the state benefits as well – through transactional data, feedback and ideas provided by the participants.”

Len Higashi, Acting Executive Director of HTDC is optimistic that through the lab, the State will be able to achieve a good balance between ensuring consumer protection and fostering innovation.

“We are excited to welcome cohort two into the DCIL and look forward to leveraging them for their expertise to drive some of our engagement initiatives for the public and businesses in Hawaii,” he said.

For more details on the pilot program and to stay up to date with developments in the DCIL, visit the HTDC website at:

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Hawaii dubbed ‘Cryptocurrency Hotspot Of 2021’

In the last five years alone, cryptocurrencies have surged by over 3,000 percent in the U.S., with 6 percent of the population now using or owning crypto. This trend is only set to grow. As interest surges, MiQ Digital has analyzed which currencies have had the most significant spike in value, the crypto trends dominating 2021 and which US states are investing money into the crypto market.

In the U.S., cryptocurrency demand is so high that American authorities are looking for ways to regulate the market, despite cryptocurrency not being a part of the mainstream economy.

These are the areas with the largest interest in crypto in 2021, alongside the increase in demand since 2020:

StateIncrease in DemandHawaii+687%Nevada+621%California+655%Florida+628%Colorado+637%

2021 Cryptocurrency Trends:

While Hawaii, Nevada, California, Florida and Colorado show the highest cryptocurrency interest in the US, the top-performing coins of 2021 have more widespread appeal.

 Dogecoin is the most significant cryptocurrency trend of 2021 with an incredible 6,900 percent surge in value culminating in various factors: interest from Redditors spurring one another on, Elon Musk’s tweets and space explorations, a Snoop Dogg repost, and controversy around the electronic trading platform, Robinhood.

Bitecoin,+51% increase in valuesince 2020

December 2020 value: $26,272.00May 2021 value: $39,746.00+239% increase in interest across the USBitcoin hotspots: Hawaii, Nevada

Dogecoin, +6,900% increase in value since 2020:

December 2020 value: $0.005May 2021 value: $0.35+1,781% increase in interest across the USDogecoin hotspots: Alaska, California, North Dakota, Washington

Maker, +602% increase in valuesince 2020

December 2020 value: $564.00May 2021 value: $3957.00+493% increase in interest across the USMaker hotspots: California, Texas

Ethereum, +313% increase in valuesince 2020

December 2020 value: $683.00May 2021 value: $2,823.00+777% increase in interest across the USEthereum hotspots: California, New Jersey, Washington

Dash, +101% increase in valuesince 2020

December 2020 value: $107.00May 2021 value: $215.00+206% increase in interest across the USDash hotspots: Alaska, Arizona

Litecoin, +56% increase in valuesince 2020

December 2020 value: $128.00May 2021 value: $199.00+433% increase in interest across the USLitecoin hotspots: Alaska, Washington

To date, around 2,300 US businesses accept Bitcoin, although its use is more prolific in some states than others.

About MiQ Digital:

We’re MiQ, a programmatic media partner for marketers and agencies. We connect data from multiple sources to do interesting, exciting, business-problem-solving things for our clients. We’re experts in data science, analytics and programmatic trading, and we’re always ready to react and solve challenges quickly, to make sure you’re always spending your media investments on the right things in the right places. Visit for more information.

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‘Conversations worth having’

Bitcoin, cryptocurrency are not illegal in Hawaii

Lawmakers and policymakers have not been standing by idly. There have been many bills introduced in the Legislature over the past several years to either exempt cryptocurrencies from the money transmitter requirements or create new laws to accommodate them. Sadly, so far, all have died in committee.Meanwhile, the DFI partnered with the Hawaii Technology Development Corp. to create a “regulatory sandbox,” which today allows nearly a dozen cryptocurrency exchanges to operate in Hawaii as a pilot. (Coinbase, alas, is not among them.) A few more companies will join the cohort this month.Honolulu Star-Advertiser, June 1, 2021

Read the full column here.

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VIDEO: Crypto for Nonprofits

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Alex Wilson from The Giving Block, a fundraising platform for cryptocurrency, talks about the platform as well as how and why non-profits should be thinking about virtual currencies as part of their fundraising strategy. This webinar was held Wednesday, May 26, 2021.

After watching the video, you are invited to fill out this quick survey.

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