The previously crypto-hostile state of Massachusetts has launched a fintech advisory group aimed at supporting blockchain startups.
Massachusetts has changed its mind about the blockchain industry and is aiming to provide more clarity regarding cryptocurrency regulations, the financial outlet American Banker reports.
The office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which oversees the state’s top securities regulator, has recently initiated the launch of a fintech advisory group. The new working group will help crypto-related startups better understand securities laws and comply with them.
The new advisory body will focus on regulatory grey areas, with the initial focus on crypto assets. The group is designed to crack down on offenders and provide necessary clarity in the fintech sector. In particular, it should help blockchain startups sort out what the state considers unregistered securities.
The secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, William Galvin, will head the group. It will also reportedly be comprised of critical players in both the fintech industry and traditional financial sector, as well as legal experts. Galvin believes such diversity is the key to the success of the initiative.
He also stresses that it’s essential to make the rules clear before enforcing them. Sharon Goldberg, CEO of crypto security startup Arwen and a member of the new group, agrees with this. She told American Banker that confusing regulation and restraints would never help promote crypto mass adoption.
Enforcement actions are fine, but we first need to know what the rules are. [It] is challenging because you’re afraid you’re breaking a rule, and you may not actually know what that rule is.
The latest move shows that Massachusetts has softened its stance towards the cryptocurrency industry. Previously, it was widely known as a crypto-unfriendly state with ambiguous regulations. It used to crack down on dubious cryptocurrency startups, especially initial coin offerings (ICOs). At the same time, the authorities urged the public not to invest in digital assets, as they were not backed by any government or central bank.
The same was true for Galvin, himself. BIn December 2017, the Secretary claimed Bitcoin (BTC) was nothing but a bubble. He also labeled it a worthless product subject to manipulation and based entirely on speculation. Furthermore, Galvin had personally ordered to a halt five ICOs for offering unregistered securities.
Will The Sun Rise In The East?
The latest news could become a long-awaited development for the east coast of the United States, which still largely steers clear of the blockchain innovation. Blockchain-based companies still find it difficult to operate in the eastern states like Massachusetts and New York. In the west, Wyoming and Arizona are embracing the new technology and adopting crypto-friendly laws.
With the new advisory group launched, Massachusetts might soon change its image and provide cryptocurrency companies with a more supportive and transparent legislative framework.
Will Massachusetts become a leader in crypto-friendly legislation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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