Legislators in Hawaii are pushing for the creation of a working group dedicated to blockchain technology.
If passed, House Bill 1481, first filed on 25th January, would lead to the creation of a group dedicated to researching "the uses of and best practices regarding blockchain technology". The bill is sponsored by Democratic Reps Chris Lee and Mark Nakashima.
The bill's authors wrote:
The long-term goal, the bill states, is to seek ways for the technology "to benefit local industries, residents and the State of Hawaii".
Should the measure be approved, the working group would be tasked with preparing a report that explores potential use cases specific to Hawaii, while also providing information on how the state itself could leverage the tech. Among the areas of interest: tourism payments.
The bill's backers suggest that the state should look to the tech as a means for encouraging visitors from abroad to spend – thereby boosting the local economy.
"Digital currencies such as bitcoin have broad benefits for Hawaii. A large portion of Hawaii's tourism market comes from Asia where the use of bitcoin as a virtual currency is expanding," the bill reads. "Hawaii has the unique opportunity to explore the use of blockchain technology to make it easier for visitors to consume local goods and services and to drive the tourism economy."
The bill is the latest legislative effort to emerge on the subject of blockchain tech.
Last year, for example, Vermont lawmakers proposed amending the state’s laws to allow for blockchain data to become admissible in court. Legislative records also show that the Vermont Senate has introduced a new bill that would tweak the state’s financial regulations to account for businesses that work with digital currencies.
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