Cryptocurrency Finds Bosom in Sunshine State
It seems that digital currencies have found its paradise in the form of Florida – well, for now – as the land of well-known beaches worldwide has started to recognize the potential of the technology.
This, after the Sunshine State announced it has appointed a czar to oversee the cryptocurrency industry in the state. According to Jimmy Patronis, the state’s chief financial officer, the new official will be responsible for enforcing relevant regulations to shield investors from any potential illicit acts.
Patronis said the state decided to create the position to thwart any type of exploitative investment pitches from perpetrators.
“Florida can no longer remain on the sidelines when it comes to cryptocurrency. I have directed my office to create a position that will oversee how current securities and insurance laws apply to Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies as well as shape the future of these regulations in our state,” he said in a statement posted on their website.
The measures that will be taken are necessary ones.
The new crypto supervisor shall be responsible for coordinating efforts about the development of policy, legislation, and regulation.
“ICO and cryptocurrency companies based in Florida will also be required to register with the Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) under the supervision of the cryptocurrency chief,” Patronis noted.
“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. It is absolutely essential that Florida create safeguards to protect our consumers from fraud,” he said.
While the state’s finance chief seeks to “keep pace with demand and not deter innovation,” he added “it is absolutely essential that Florida create safeguards to protect our consumers from fraud.”
“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,” Patronis emphasized.
The Florida needs to take the front seat when it comes to emerging trends and put its feet one step ahead in terms of consumer protection, Senate President-Delegate Bill Galvano said.
Prior to the news, Florida has witnessed numerous lawsuits filed related to the BitConnect cryptocurrency scam. It used to house Cryptsy, the now-defunct exchange service that collapsed in the early part of 2016 that stemmed from accusations of fraud, a class-action lawsuit, and a multimillion-dollar judgment, among others.
Florida residents Andrew Kline, Dusty Showers and Lena Hunt, together with Rhode Island resident Charles Mabra, lodged a case in the US District Court of the Middle District of Florida in February this year, based on public records. Separate cases were filed in Minnesota and Kentucky states.
The cases filed stated that BitConnect sold unregistered securities in these areas and committed fraud by ballooning the potential returns which users who purchased the virtual tokens would realize.