Written by Keely Quinlan
In a 67-page report out Friday, New Hampshire Commission on Cryptocurrencies and Digital Assets made 12 recommendations urging lawmakers to take a proactive stance on creating new legal frameworks for blockchain technologies.
Recommendations included creating a pathway for cryptocurrency companies to gain legal entity status and establishing a “Blockchain Litigation Brief” in New Hampshire Superior Court.
The commission was created by a Executive Decree by Governor Chris Sununu in February 2022 to assess state laws governing crypto and other digital assets – and their impact on residents and consumers – and make recommendations to state legislators on how to follow the evolution of technology.
The final report was unanimously approved in December with two members voting on the abstention because they work for state agencies that would be responsible for administering potential laws that apply to crypto activities, such as the NH Department of Justice and the NH Bank Department.
According to the report, the current regulation and treatment of crypto-assets in federal and state law is unclear. While stating that crypto presents unique economic and innovation opportunities, the report also cited blockchain’s involvement in unregulated markets and fraudulent activities, such as Sam Bankman’s mismanagement of customer funds- Fried which led to the recent collapse of his crypto exchange and hedge fund, FTX.
“However, as developments throughout 2022 demonstrated (including when one of the largest Crypto exchanges collapsed amid allegations that its founder and CEO, previously one of the top most important in the Crypto ecosystem, allegedly committed criminal fraud resulting in the loss of billions of dollars of client assets), the applications of these technologies in real life, with real people, are subject to the same human fragilities (greed , jealousy, arrogance, ignorance, incompetence, recklessness, naivety) that have plagued human communities for centuries; and for which an enormous body of law has been crafted over the centuries,” the report reads.
To counter these potential pitfalls, the Crypto Commission recommended that New Hampshire take an enterprising approach to “build a better legal infrastructure for robust development of Blockchain technologies and its applications.”
“New Hampshire should be a leader in supporting the development of strong Blockchain-based businesses and applications through the enactment of clear and strong legal rules,” the report states.
The commission’s report sets out 12 specific recommendations. In addition to giving limited liability legal status to crypto companies and creating a specific tribunal to settle disputes, the report recommends providing resources to law enforcement for training that will protect consumers and investors.
To enhance the state’s attractiveness for new technology, the report recommends that the state create a task force to assess how blockchain technologies could be used to improve current filing and filing systems. storage of official government documents, and improve its communications infrastructure so that it can support blockchain technology applications.
New Hampshire isn’t the only state or local entity thinking about how to harness crypto and blockchain technologies — or how to make setting up a store more appealing. In 2016, Illinois established a Blockchain Initiative who explored the possibility of using Blockchain in government. And Colorado, for example, is now accepts tax payments in crypto.
In a press release, Sununu said it created the commission with recommendations that would “promote economic growth, foster innovation, and meet changing customer needs while ensuring safety, soundness, and consumer protection.”
“This report is comprehensive and timely, providing specific recommendations that would establish New Hampshire as a leading jurisdiction for developing strong and effective applications of blockchain technologies, including proposals to clarify current laws and support law enforcement in their efforts to protect New Hampshire. consumers and investors,” Sununu said.