Florida Could Become Next State to Capitalize on Bitcoin Market

Image by MichaelWuensch from Pixabay 

The Sunshine State could become the next Wyoming in capitalizing on the $100 billion global Bitcoin market, according to a recently-published 15-page report titled, “Bitcoin Beach.” According to its author, Andrea O’Sullivan, director of the Center for Technology & Innovation at Tallahassee-based policy watchdog Madison Institute, if Florida lawmakers found a way to bypass the state’s money transmission regulations and adopt several relatively minor financial technology (fintech) measures, Florida could take the cryptocurrency world by storm.

O’Sullivan said the state is in a position to advance innovative cryptocurrency policy with the 2019 creation of the 13-member Florida Blockchain Task Force to study potential benefits of blockchain, the unanimous 2020 adoption of House Bill 1391, which outlines a “cutting-edge” fintech “regulatory sandbox,” and because developing a cryptocurrency policy is a priority for state leaders, including Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis.

Blockchain is, essentially, linked recordings of transactions; a digital ledger already in widespread use in cryptocurrency (like Bitcoin) as well as in finance, voting validation, authenticating academic credentials and more.

Blockchain technologies and crypto-currencies first emerged as viable financial systems with the advent of Bitcoin, invented by an anonymous individual or group under the name Satoshi Nakamoto and released as open-source software in 2009.

In a Wednesday Orlando Sentinel column, Republican Senator Jeff Brandes from St. Petersburg, who sits on the Senate Innovation, Industry & Technology Committee, cited the Madison Institute study in stating “Florida has a great deal to gain by embracing this innovation.”

Brandes agrees Florida should follow Wyoming’s lead, as the lawmaker thinks the state has set a good example for Florida.

Bitcoin () is a cryptocurrency invented in 2008 by an anonymous person or a group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto. It is a decentralized digital currency without a central bank or single administrator that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for third party-intervention. Bitcoins can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services.

O’Sullivan makes the argument that Bitcoin has grown from “a little-known computer science project of dedicated hobbyists to a professionalized financial industry boasting a currency market capitalization of well over $100 billion.” This makes Bitcoin a rival currency for the future in O’ Sullivan’s eyes and one that state governments should keep a lookout for.

So far, the state of Wyoming has passed twenty laws facilitating easier commerce for cryptocurrency businesses and broader acceptance. In the future, big banks dealing in anything Bitcoin-related might even have to relocate to Wyoming in order to shield themselves from the U.S.’ infamous patchwork approach. This puts Wyoming behind New York in terms of Bitcoin support.

Slowly but surely, this cryptocurrency will be the currency of the future it seems, and we must keep an eye out for it ourselves.

The year 2018 saw JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon deny his earlier criticisms of Bitcoin, along with pledging not to talk about it at all any longer, as reported by Cointelegraph. Last month, JPMorgan settled a $2.5 million lawsuit from the same year, in which plaintiffs contested the bank charging extra fees for cryptocurrency purchases using its credit cards. One Blockchain advocate warned JPMorgan would have to move to Wyoming to protect itself from million-dollar Bitcoin (BTC).