The cryptocurrency industry is simply becoming too big to ignore. Federal regulations in the U.S. are beginning to classify ICOs as securities and treating them with equivalent scrutiny. At the state level, Florida is taking action to oversee the cryptocurrency sector by creating the position of Crypto Chief.
CFO Jimmy Patronis: Florida Needs Cryptocurrency Oversight
Announced on June 26, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis revealed plans to appoint a cryptocurrency chief for the management and monitoring of emerging ICOs and digital asset activity within the state.
Patronis explained in the official announcement that the need for cryptocurrency oversight derives from the pandemic of persisting scams targeting older residents of the state.
It’s becoming evident that authorities at both the federal and state level are starting to take action to better understand the emerging digital asset class and protect investors.
In the announcement, Patronis states:
“We cannot allow the cryptocurrency industry to expand in Florida unfettered and unchecked with the potential for so many, including our large population of seniors, to be exploited. By taking an active, comprehensive and balanced approach, our state will provide an appropriate level of scrutiny for emerging digital asset technologies.”
Although still in its early stages, the cryptocurrency industry is beginning to mature as it makes its way towards public adoption – creating a higher demand for regulation and drawing more attention from authorities.
Mentioned in the announcement, one county in Florida has already adopted cryptocurrency as an acceptable form of payment for state charges:
“Cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly accepted as forms of payment for many transactions across the state, including by government entities. The Seminole County Tax Collector announced that the office will accept bitcoin as payment for property taxes, identification cards and license plates.”
Intentions to Regulate Without Restriction
In the announcement, Patronis conveyed that the state laws would now require ICOs to register with the Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) and that the newly appointed cryptocurrency chief would work with state regulators to develop new policies on monitoring new crypto projects.
Patronis made clear that his intentions are not to inhibit innovation within the sector but to balance between appropriate scrutiny and industry growth:
“Understanding the risks and benefits of this emerging industry will benefit Florida consumers. My goal is to keep pace with demand and not deter innovation while monitoring for fraudulent behavior and scams.”
With support from Senate President-Designate Bill Galvano, Patronis is well-poised to bring Florida to the forefront of cryptocurrency innovation and regulation – leading the way for other U.S. states to follow.
Cover Photo by Steven Pahel on Unsplash
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