On March 24, 2022, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu announced the launch of the Governor's Commission on Cryptocurrencies and Digital Assets. Established via Executive Order 2022-1 on Feb. 9, 2022, the Commission is charged with, among other tasks, reviewing and investigating the current status of the cryptocurrency and digital asset industry and making findings and determinations regarding the role and effectiveness of existing state laws and regulations governing cryptocurrencies and other digital assets and the reasons why modifications and improvements to such laws and regulations are necessary.
"New Hampshire is a hub of financial innovation, and the formation of this Commission will further our commitment to attracting high-quality banking and financial businesses safely and responsibly," stated Governor Chris Sununu in the release. "I am excited for the work the members of this Commission will undertake and the recommendations they will provide so that New Hampshire can continue to advance necessary reforms that promote economic growth, foster innovation, and meet changing customer needs while ensuring safety, soundness, and consumer protection."
Q&A with Commission Member
To learn more about this initiative, NEACH reached out to Angela Strozewski, a New Hampshire Bankers Association member and a State of New Hampshire resident appointed by the Governor to serve on the Commission. We sat down with Strozewski as a member of the commission, Kristy Merrill, President, New Hampshire Bankers Association, and Ryan Hale, Vice President of Government Relations, New Hampshire Bankers Association to get their perspectives on what this means for New Hampshire:
Here’s what they had to say:
Q: What made you participate in the Governor's Commission on Cryptocurrencies and Digital Assets?
A: I was honored when asked by the New Hampshire Bankers Association to represent New Hampshire banks on Governor Sununu’s Commission on Cryptocurrencies and Digital Assets. As a Commission, we need to assess the potential impact of cryptocurrencies and digital assets on New Hampshire's businesses, customers, and communities and present recommendations to Governor Sununu that will enable New Hampshire to responsibly embrace this new technology while protecting all stakeholders.
Q: What plans does New Hampshire have or hope to put in place related to cryptocurrencies and digital assets in the future?
A: New Hampshire’s State legislature recently approved HB 1503, which adopts the Uniform Law Commission’s (ULC) draft amendment to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). The draft amendment addresses digital assets and emerging technologies. These laws, which go into effect on January 1, 2023, will govern any transfer (as a sale or financing) of virtual currencies and apply to financial institutions, investment banks, and fintech companies considering using these developing currencies.
Q. Why should financial institutions care about what various states, in this case, New Hampshire, are doing concerning cryptocurrency and digital assets?B
A: Financial institutions need to be aware of cryptocurrency developments in New Hampshire so they can be prepared to adopt policies that safely and responsibly meet the needs of consumers. It’s critical that appropriate consumer protections are in place and regulatory clarity exists for financial institutions that choose to offer crypto services. Understanding the steps that New Hampshire is taking concerning cryptocurrency will help financial institutions in other states make informed decisions regarding whether to offer crypto services, gain knowledge about the associated benefits and risks, and allow them to compete effectively.
“According to the executive order, the crypto commission will have 180 days—until Aug. 8—to submit a report to officials within the New Hampshire state government consisting of a ‘review and investigation regarding the current status of the cryptocurrency and digital asset industry as well as applicable laws in the United States and abroad,” reported Coin Telegraph. “The commission will have the authority to hold public hearings to hear from industry and regulatory experts, and make findings and determinations regarding the role and effectiveness of current state laws and regulations governing cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.”
NEACH will continue to stay abreast of developments in the cryptocurrency space and update its members as new, relevant information becomes available.
AUTHOR: Joe Casali, AAP, NCP
Executive Vice President
As the EVP of Payments Innovation for NEACH, Joe focuses on exploring innovative solutions and technologies that will help position members for success, both now and in the future. Connect with Joe to read more of his blogs, articles, and posts.