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Hawaii crazy for Bitcoin

Hawaii seems to really love Bitcoin, or at least that’s what Google Trends suggests. An analysis of queries made on the main search engine in the United States shows that the word Bitcoin is particularly sought after in the archipelago state

In fact, it has been the most active state in the last few days, and at the top of the list of the most active ones in the last week, where most of the queries took place in Nevada, California and New York. 

Why does Hawaii like Bitcoin

Hawaii is probably particularly interested in Bitcoin because it is here that an experiment called the Digital Currency Innovation Lab (DCIL) is taking place. 

This project will allow as many as 21 exchanges to be able to work without a crypto license. These are: 

  • Apex Crypto, 
  • bitFlyer USA, 
  • BlockFi Trading, 
  • CEX.IO, Cloud Nalu, 
  • Coinme, 
  • ErisX, 
  • Flexa Network, 
  • Gemini Trust Company, 
  • Novi Financial,
  • River Financial,
  • Robinhood Crypto.

The goal is to monitor the evolution of the crypto sector and its innovative scope. The initiative will last two years, during which the participating exchanges will have to produce data and reports to understand how to legalize the sector.

The scope of the project is broad, involving some of the main players in the crypto landscape, such as Gemini, Robinhood and Novi, i.e. the wallet for Libra, Facebook’s cryptocurrency. 

The crypto evolution of Hawaii

The fact that Hawaii is giving ample space to cryptocurrencies shows how much the approach to the sector has changed. In fact, in 2017 the state had practically issued a ban against Bitcoin, preventing individuals and companies based in the archipelago from using BTC. 

Three years later the trend seems totally reversed. In January 2020, a law was passed in Hawaii giving banks the opportunity to offer crypto custody services. 

In March, the Digital Currency Innovation Lab project came to life, which then became operational in August. In just under two years, it will become clear whether Hawaii will be the first state within the United States to be able to call itself crypto-friendly. 

Hawaii could certainly be an exception, considering that the SEC, the CFTC and the OCC seem to maintain an ambiguous attitude. On the one hand, some instruments such as ETFs on Bitcoin are constantly rejected by the SEC. On the other, there is no lack of openings with regard to stablecoins by the SEC and the OCC, perhaps because of their reduced volatility.

Surely the US national authorities will have to take into account what will happen in Hawaii. The state could become a reference point for future regulation of the sector.

Eleonora Spagnolo
Eleonora Spagnolo
Journalist passionate about the web and the digital world. She graduated with honours in Multimedia Publishing at the University La Sapienza in Rome and completed a master's degree in Web and Social Media Marketing.