Washington has built up a bit of a bad reputation in certain circles. This is primarily due to the region being considered as unfriendly toward blockchain and cryptocurrency. Local regulators are drafting a plan of action to address that situation once and for all.
Regulating Blockchain in Washington
Imposing rules upon the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry is not straightforward. Innovative technologies don’t adhere to most existing rules. For regulators in the state of Washington, this poses many challenges. Despite being one of the world’s biggest technology hubs, these new industries have avoided the region for some time now.
State officials are currently in the process of developing a regulatory framework. Their main focus lies on currency and money transmission as security risks. The general public also weighed in on these developments by providing a healthier ecosystem. Rather than curbing innovation, regulators need to protect consumers and encourage industry growth.
Walking the regulatory tightrope is a tough balancing act. Blockchain and cryptocurrency are groundbreaking technologies. With new opportunities also come certain risks. Creating a viable legal ecosystem for service providers to operate within is a big step toward bolstering these industries. Decisions should never be taken without carefully weighing all the options.
Existing Guidelines Remain Problematic
Previous attempts to regulate cryptocurrency have not been received well. Washington state forces cryptocurrency exchanges to adhere to money transmitter laws. It is this process which makes firm wary of the region. The regulatory decision also appears rather odd given Washington’s focus on technology and innovation.
One way of solving this problem comes through the multi-state licensing program. This new option lets companies register and have the state take care of basic requirements. At this time, one in three US states is participating in this effort. Raising that number is an ongoing process, albeit some regions prove more difficult than others.
Some experts advise a crypto-friendly approach for Washington. That can only happen by maintaining an open dialogue between blockchain companies and regulators. If the blockchain community puts its shoulders under that project, the end result is expected to be positive. At a recent meeting between regulators and the crypto community, state officials expressed their desire not to stifle the industry’s innovations while attempting to provide protection for consumers. The state does have a vested interest in fostering this new technology as it is home to some of the world’s largest tech companies, many of whom are now getting into the blockchain ecosystem.
Do you think Washington will become friendlier to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology? Let us know in the comments below.
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