Chris Sununu has been the governor of New Hampshire from 2017 to 2017. He has created a commission that investigates the technology and laws surrounding digital assets. It also recommends new legislation.
Wednesday saw the New Hampshire Governor’s Office announce that Executive Order 2022-1 would be issued to establish the Governor’s Commission on Digital Assets and Cryptocurrencies. Governor Sununu spoke out about the “rising acceptance” and use of crypto, as well as the rise of distributed ledgers and blockchain technologies to justify his decision to create the commission.
The executive order gives the crypto commission 180 days to submit a report, which will include a review and investigation of the “current status of the cryptocurrency asset industry” and applicable laws in the United States. The commission will be able to hold public hearings in order to hear from experts and industry representatives. It will also have the power to “make findings or determinations regarding the effectiveness of current state laws governing cryptocurrencies, other digital assets,” while maintaining economic competitiveness and considering the potential impacts on the financial sector and privacy concerns.
According to the order, the commission will be made up of three public members who have experience in cryptocurrencies, digital assets, and the provision services to institutions and consumers with respect to these assets. The New Hampshire governor has the power to designate substitutes for the majority of the members of the commission.
Governor Sununu mentioned “well-intentioned legislation regarding cryptocurrency and digital assets” in his order. This was likely to refer to a bill that would have allowed state agencies to accept crypto for tax payments. However, the legislation was defeated in 2020 with many lawmakers citing the volatility of Bitcoin (BTC). The governor also mentioned Ether (ETH), Binance Coin(BNB), Tether ($USDT) and USD Coin (“USDC”) as tokens that were rapidly “gaining momentum.”
“New Hampshire is a center of financial innovation. This Executive Order will further our commitment towards attracting high-quality banking and financial businesses in safe and responsible ways,” stated Governor Sununu.
Related: A US lawmaker calls for state-level regulation of stablecoins during an hearing on digital assets
Due to the absence of a clear federal regulatory framework, legislators in the U.S. state legislatures seem to be pushing for legislation to recognize, invest or otherwise manage crypto and blockchain. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis presented a budget proposal in December that suggested local businesses could “pay state fees via crypto directly to the Department of State.” A member of Tennessee’s House of Representatives also introduced legislation to establish a study group on crypto and Blockchain.