Governor of Utah Spencer Cox signed a bill to build Blockchain and Digital Innovation Task Force
The Task Force
will enable Utah state to recommend policy actions on blockchain and related
technologies to the government. Additionally, the policy recommendations will
include non-financial incentives for financial technology, blockchain, and
digital innovation-related industries within the state. Taskforce members are
expected to develop and present specific policy recommendations regarding the
promotion of the adoption of blockchain technology, financial technology, and
digital innovation in the state.
As per the bill, there will be 20 members in the task force who will have experience in financial technologies, cryptocurrency, and blockchain technology. The governor, president of the senate, and house speaker will have the responsibility of appointing a maximum of five members each for the task force. Staff support will also be offered by the Utah Division of Finance.
On or before November 30 of each year, the task must submit its report annually to two committees of the Utah State Senate which are the Legislative Management Committee and the Business and Labor Interim Committee of the Utah Senate on the establishment. Although there’s no set date for when the task force will be established.
This step took place after nearly three years of a long discussion about establishing a task force to oversee blockchain and crypto initiatives. This year, at the beginning of February, the Utah State Legislature first saw the introduction of the house bill (H.B. 335). Two months took to introduce and pass through several senates, houses, and fiscal actions. Finally, on 24th March it got signed by Governor Cox.
This move creates Utah's position as one of the states taking a proactive stance on crypto. According to President Biden's executive order, a number of federal agencies are studying various aspects of the industry. Recently New York has released a slew of crypto regulations. California is also working on a comprehensive legal framework for crypto. An executive order signed by Governor Gavin Newsom is focused to help the state achieve its goal.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is also becoming more interested in crypto regulation. Recently U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) plans to double the number of personnel in charge of protecting investors in cryptocurrency markets. The agency announced that 20 new employees are being hired for 50 new positions within the SEC's Cyber Unit that will include a team focused on crypto assets, including attorneys, trial lawyers, fraud analysts, and investigators. Gary Gensler praised the move while pointing out the Cyber Unit's accomplishments in combating fraud in the crypto world, “By nearly doubling the size of this key unit, the SEC will be better equipped to police wrongdoing in the crypto markets while continuing to identify disclosure and controls issues with respect to cybersecurity.”
CBW - External Analyst