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Governor of New Hampshire establishes crypto study commission

The commission has until August 8 to provide a report that includes a “study and investigation of the current status of the cryptocurrency and digital asset market,” as well as information on applicable laws in the United States and abroad.

Chris Sununu, the Governor of New Hampshire since 2017, has established a panel to investigate the technology and laws around digital assets, as well as to recommend new legislation.

The New Hampshire Governor’s office stated on Wednesday that it would issue Executive Order 2022-1 to establish the Governor’s Commission on Cryptocurrencies and Digital Assets. In establishing the commission, Governor Sununu emphasised the “growing use and acceptability” of cryptocurrency, as well as the expansion of distributed ledger and blockchain technologies.

According to the executive order, the crypto commission will have 180 days — until August 8 — to submit a report to New Hampshire state government officials that will include a “review and investigation regarding the current status of the cryptocurrency and digital asset industry,” as well as applicable laws in the United States and abroad. The commission will have the authority to hold public hearings to hear from industry and regulatory experts, as well as “make findings and determinations regarding the role and effectiveness of current state laws and regulations governing cryptocurrencies and other digital assets,” while balancing economic competitiveness, potential financial system impacts, and privacy concerns.

According to the order, the commission will be made up of “three public members with recognised experience with cryptocurrencies, digital assets, and the provision of services to institutions or consumers with respect to digital assets,” as well as the state Attorney General, Commissioner of the Bank Department, a state senator, a state representative, a representative of the New Hampshire Bankers Association, a representative of the Cooperative Credit Union Association, and three appointees. The Governor of New Hampshire also has the right to appoint his own substitutes for the majority of the commission members.

In the order, Governor Sununu cited “well-intended legislation regarding cryptocurrencies and digital assets,” most likely referring to a bill proposing that state agencies be allowed to accept cryptocurrency for tax payments — the legislation failed in 2020, with many lawmakers citing Bitcoin’s volatility (BTC). The governor also mentioned Ether (ETH), Binance Coin (BNB), Tether (USDT), and USD Coin (USDC) as coins that are “gaining traction.”

“New Hampshire is a financial innovation hotspot, and this Executive Order will strengthen our commitment to attracting high-quality banking and financial enterprises in a safe and responsible manner,” Governor Sununu stated.

Legislators in the United States appear to be stepping up legislative initiatives to recognise, invest in, or otherwise handle crypto and blockchain, possibly due to a lack of a clear legal framework at the federal level. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis proposed in December that local companies be permitted to “pay state fees directly to the Department of State via bitcoin.” Earlier this month, a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives submitted legislation to create a crypto and blockchain study committee.

Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.

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