DCCA News Release: 11 Companies Continue in the State of Hawaii’s Digital Currency Innovation Lab

Posted on Jul 11, 2022 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

HONOLULU –  The Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) and the Hawaii Division of Financial Institutions, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (HDFI) are pleased to announce that eleven companies will be continuing to participate in the Digital Currency Innovation Lab (DCIL) program. The new two-year term of the program commenced on July 1, 2022 and will continue until December 30, 2024.  Companies who will continue their participation include Apex Crypto, BitFlyer, BlockFi, Cloud Nalu, Coinme, ErisX, Flexa Network, Gemini, River Financial, SoFi, and UpHold.

“The decision made by the majority of companies to continue their participation is a testament to the immense value of being a part of the DCIL and the ability to conduct operations in Hawaii, in a legitimate manner,” says Iris Ikeda, Commissioner of Financial Institutions, HDFI.  “Through the DCIL, we will continue to study the effects and implications of digital currency transactions on Hawaii’s residents,” said Ikeda.

In March 2020, with the launch of the DCIL, Commissioner Ikeda issued a “no action message”, meaning that no action will be taken against a company conducting what HDFI would consider unlicensed money transmission activity, if the company is successfully admitted into the pilot program. This will be applied to the extended DCIL program.

“We are excited to be able to continue the momentum we have created for the state over the last two years,” said Len Higashi, Acting Executive Director, HTDC.  “This will provide us with opportunities to engage more fully with existing companies and benefit from the economic growth prospects for Hawaii brought forth by the ability to be part of the crypto community,” continued Higashi.

The sentiment is shared by the only Hawaii-based company admitted into the DCIL, Cloud Nalu. “This is a good step forward for innovation in Hawaii. It provides our company a clear pathway to continue building bitcoin software that enables Hawaii residents and businesses to efficiently and securely access bitcoin as a tool for building wealth in the long run, making payments more efficient, and upgrading our energy infrastructure,” shared Liam Grist, CEO and Founder of Cloud Nalu.

“Gemini applauds the forward-leaning decision of the Hawaii DFI and HTDC to extend the Digital Currency Innovation Lab (DCIL) for an additional two years. The DCIL will allow Hawaii residents to continue to access crypto services under a sound framework and will foster economic growth and innovation. Gemini looks forward to continuing to be a leading participant in the DCIL and providing a secure crypto services platform to Hawaii residents,” said Ji Kim, Head of Policy & Regulatory Affairs.

Fellow DCIL participant, Flexa is delighted by the opportunity to continue enabling Hawaii residents and businesses to execute fast and fraud-proof digital currency transactions. “Hawaii has led the nation in exploring collaborative and robust regulatory frameworks for the digital asset industry, and we look forward to continued ecosystem growth under the DCIL to carve a path for other states to follow in the future,” shared Trevor Filter, Co-Founder of the crypto payments platform.

The DCIL will be admitting new companies when it opens its new application cycle in the third quarter of this year. For updates, visit the DCIL website at www.htdc.org/digital-currency-innovation-lab.

# # #

Media Contacts:

Sheela Sharma
Information Specialist
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
[email protected]
(808) 586-5967

Ellen Ng
Economic Development Specialist
Hawaii Technology Development Corporation
[email protected]
(808) 539 3839