Bill would streamline financial regs for companies using blockchain

PROVIDENCE – Legislation has been introduced to streamline financial regulations for technology companies that assist customers with financial transactions using blockchain.

House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi, D-Warwick, has introduced a plan to consolidate two existing licenses required to use this emergent technology, according to a news release.

“This bill is one element of the effort to make Rhode Island a place where businesses can thrive,” Shekarchi said in a statement. “We’re encouraging tech companies that may be developing blockchain technology to consider Rhode Island, while also making it easier for other companies … to use it.”

The database technology is designed to store information securely, in a public or encrypted manner, setting up decentralized blocks of data shared by all users and creates an easily traceable data history that is difficult to alter, according to the release.

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The bill would only affect Rhode Island financial uses of blockchain, its electronic-money transmitter license and its sales of checks license – allowing users to conduct all activities under one license, plus virtual-currency activities, according to the release.

Modeled on legislation in other states, the R.I. Department of Business Regulation backs the proposal.

Susan Shalhoub is a PBN contributing writer.