Bid for New York task force on cryptocurrency and blockchain moves forward – The Center Square

(The Center Square) – New York state Assemblyman Clyde Vanel says that New York City is one of the top financial markets in the world. However, to remain a global leader, it has to embrace and understand the new technologies that will drive the future of investment and finances.
On Monday, Assembly Bill A9275, a bill the Queens Democrat sponsored to establish a state cryptocurrency and blockchain task force, passed two Assembly committees and the entire body. Passage in the latter occurred by a 122-25 vote.
Speaking on the floor, Vanel said the task force would include representatives from both parties in the Legislature and the executive branch as well as key stakeholders from the financial technology industry, labor, environmental groups, the academic community and regulators.
“The task force will help us report on major issues, including financial inclusion for underrepresented communities; business opportunities for women and minorities; jobs and skill training across New York state, including upstate,” Vanel said. “It will include the use of technology to protect our data and our critical infrastructure … and ways to reduce the environmental impact of this early but crucial technology.”
Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies, like bitcoin, that rely on a decentralized system to maintain transaction records. The data in those records is managed and updated by blockchain or peer-to-peer networks.
In his memo explaining the bill, Vanel said that while New York is home to the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, there’s no guarantee the city will be able to maintain its position as a world leader in the financial markets.
“In reality, in the current economic environment, we are competing with London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong for financial investments and our position as a fiscal leader,” the assemblyman wrote in the memo. “In the current digital and technological world, New York is vying for future financial transactions and activity with almost every global market and state.”
A companion bill in the Senate, Senate Bill S8343, is sponsored by state Sen. James Sanders Jr., D-Queens.
The bill has the support of the Chamber of Progress, which considers itself a center-left coalition of technology industry stakeholders.
Chamber CEO Adam Kovacevich said in a statement that it’s good to see New York leaders take proactive measures to embrace cryptocurrencies.
“Decentralized blockchain technologies can make personal data more secure, provide financial services to the underserved, and attract high-tech jobs throughout the state,” Kovacevich said. “Crypto has the potential to be the next big thing – and this task force can write the rules so that it thrives responsibly in New York.”

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