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  • J Markezic and M Bacina

California embraces blockchain with new crypto executive order

Updated: May 3

California Governor, Gavin Newsom, has issued an executive order - Executive Order N-9-22 - earlier this week relating to cryptocurrencies. The order sets out a road map for regulatory and consumer protections, as well as looking at ways the state would be able to take advantage of blockchain technologies as well as other digital assets.

The Californian executive order follows increased adoption by tech investors and businesses in the state of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. The executive order also follows, and is consistent with the policy objectives of, the Biden administration's executive order issued in March of this year.

On the Californian executive order, senior aide to Governor Newsom and director of the Governors Office of Business and Economic Development, Dee Dee Myers, has said:

Of the 800 blockchain businesses in North America, about a quarter of them are in California, dramatically more than any other state... We’ve heard from so many that they want to be here, and we want to help them do that responsibly.

The executive order is constructed in such a way that it will seek to foster cooperation and collaboration between the Governors Office of Business and Economic Development with the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation and Californian Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency. Following an initial collaboration period, the agencies will combine resources to submit its findings and recommend how the Californian crypto environment can be improved.

The order makes clear that this process will:

reflect consultation with relevant state agencies regarding the forthcoming federal reports on the relationship of crypto assets to priorities in energy, climate, and preventing criminal activity.

This move is yet another example of a strong indication of US State governments warming up to crypto and digital asset adoption and recognising the importance of this growing industry. There are just under 40 US states with bills pending approval addressing crypto-asset related matters. While the industry is yet to comment, the executive order includes reference to and builds on the benefits and risks of crypto prepared by the California Blockchain Working Group.


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