Maui Business

11 companies continue in the State of Hawaiʻi’s Digital Currency Innovation Lab

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Cloud Nalu is the only Hawaiʻi-based company admitted into the state’s Digital Currency Innovation Lab. Screen shot: Cloud Nalu website

Eleven companies signed new two-year terms to participate in the Digital Currency Innovation Lab program in Hawaiʻi. The new terms end on Dec. 30, 2024.

The companies are Apex Crypto, BitFlyer, BlockFi, Cloud Nalu, Coinme, ErisX, Flexa Network, Gemini, River Financial, SoFi and UpHold, according to the Hawaiʻi Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) and the Hawaiʻi Division of Financial Institutions, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (HDFI).

“The decision made by the majority of companies to continue their participation is a testament to the immense value of being a part of the [Digital Currency Innovation Lab] DCIL and the ability to conduct operations in Hawaiʻi, in a legitimate manner,” said Iris Ikeda, Commissioner of Financial Institutions, HDFI.  “Through the DCIL, we will continue to study the effects and implications of digital currency transactions on Hawaiʻi’s residents.”

In March 2020, with the launch of the DCIL, Commissioner Ikeda issued a “no action message”, meaning that no action will be taken against a company conducting what HDFI would consider unlicensed money transmission activity, if the company is successfully admitted into the pilot program. This will be applied to the extended DCIL program.

“We are excited to be able to continue the momentum we have created for the state over the last two years,” said Len Higashi, Acting Executive Director, HTDC.  “This will provide us with opportunities to engage more fully with existing companies and benefit from the economic growth prospects for Hawaiʻi brought forth by the ability to be part of the crypto community.”

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The sentiment is shared by Cloud Nalu, the only Hawaiʻi-based company admitted into the DCIL.

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“This is a good step forward for innovation in Hawaiʻi,” said Liam Grist, CEO and Founder of Cloud Nalu. “It provides our company a clear pathway to continue building bitcoin software that enables Hawaiʻi residents and businesses to efficiently and securely access bitcoin as a tool for building wealth in the long run, making payments more efficient, and upgrading our energy infrastructure.”

Trevor Filter, Co-Founder of the crypto payments platform of DCIL participant Flexa, said his company is delighted to continue enabling Hawaiʻi residents and businesses to execute fast and fraud-proof digital currency transactions.

“Hawaii has led the nation in exploring collaborative and robust regulatory frameworks for the digital asset industry, and we look forward to continued ecosystem growth under the DCIL to carve a path for other states to follow in the future,” Filter said.

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The DCIL will be admitting new companies when it opens its new application cycle in the third quarter of this year. For updates, visit the DCIL website at www.htdc.org/digital-currency-innovation-lab.

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