What you need to know about investing in cryptocurrencies in Hawaii
HONOLULU (KHON2) – Cryptocurrency is gaining popularity in the United States. Over the past month, “Crypto Currency” and “Dogecoin” have been among the most frequent searches in Hawaii.
Iris Ikeda, commissioner of financial institutions at the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, describes cryptocurrency as a “computerized token,” or digital currency, which can be used in a number of ways.
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“Because the valuation is so high, you know people use it for investment purposes,” Ikeda said. “On the mainland, people buy houses or cars … boats …”
Although Ikeda has said that local businesses do not yet take cryptocurrencies as payment, people can purchase cryptocurrencies through the Hawaii State Digital Currency Innovation Lab.
Currently, the state allows cryptocurrency trading with 11 companies under a pilot program.
“You will need to register with the company. Every business has a different registration process, ”Ikeda said. “Once you sign up, you fund it with US dollars, and then each platform has a different way of letting you buy cryptocurrency.”
She said approved companies need to be screened to ensure they have cybersecurity, information protection and security protocols in place.
For those who are considering buying cryptocurrency, Ikeda cautions about different types of cryptocurrency and different trading companies.
“People should also remember that they could lose all the value they’ve invested, right? Because the prices are very volatile as we saw last week. You know the price has come down dramatically, ”Ikeda said.
She said four more cryptocurrency trading companies will join the pilot program this year. This will be announced in the coming weeks.
The pilot program is expected to end next June. After that, if no extension is made, the companies participating in the pilot project are supposed to let clients know to pull out and withdraw their investments.
Ikeda said the goal of the program is to shape the regulation of cryptocurrency trading in Hawaii in the future.
“We see this as an innovative way of thinking about money and investing,” Ikeda said. “But with this innovation, we want to make sure that consumers are protected from all the bad things that could happen.”