Hawaii Wary of Bitcoin Legalization

Although a number of proposals have been put forth by bitcoin exchanges, Hawaii’s Division of Financial Institutions is debating if Bitcoin ought to be legal.

Hawaii is currently debating proposals put forth by a number of applicants looking to become ‘money transmitters’ or bitcoin exchanges, according to Iris Ikeda, the commissioner of financial institutions in Hawaii.

The Pacific Business News reports that the state’s Division of Financial Institutions ‘has strong reservations’ about bitcoin, a cryptocurrency that is currently illegal for tender in the island state.

Speaking to the PBN’s Kathleen Gallagher, Iris Ikeda, the Division’s commissioner said:

We are looking at it and have a number of applications, but one of the things slowing down the process is our concerns over the security of personal information.

The state commissioner of financial institutions added that the ‘money transmitter’ applicants seek to become bitcoin exchanges through the process.

The trepidation in approving bitcoin’s status as a legal currency comes at a time following the Paris attacks where the European Union’s ministers called for a crisis meeting to be held today in Belgium to push for stronger controls over anonymous payment methods such as bitcoin.

CCN recently reported GhostSec, an anonymous collective of hackers who revealed the Islamic State to possess a bitcoin wallet containing $3 million in bitcoins as recently as September, before the upswing in Bitcoin price.

German publication Der Spiegel also revealed a private meeting of G7 nations on Monday next week, where The Group of Seven industrial economies reportedly and privately suspect the Islamic State of using anonymous electronic currencies.The reported meetings are to crack down on virtual and anonymous currencies which justice ministers believe are being used for terrorism financing.

Despite the apprehension in Hawaii, there is a real need for bitcoin and other decentralized currencies - as pointed out by Orchideric, a CCN reader in a comment from a previous article that explains how Bitcoin can be a global decentralized currency for a traveler.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Last modified (UTC): November 20, 2015 4:23 PM

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Samburaj Das @sambdas

Samburaj is the Editor for CCN, among the earliest and foremost publications covering blockchain, cryptocurrency and financial technology news. He has authored over 1,500 articles for CCN and is invested in Bitcoin. Email him samburaj(@)ccn.com or find him barely tweeting @sambdas

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