In February 2022, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu (R) issued Executive Order 2022-1, establishing the Governor’s Commission on Cryptocurrencies and Digital Assets. The order noted that cryptocurrencies and other digital assets using blockchain technologies had gained momentum, with total global market capitalization estimates exceeding $3 trillion. The order directed the newly established commission to review and investigate the current status of the cryptocurrency and digital asset industry and review federal and state laws and regulatory rules applicable to banks and other businesses that provide services involving cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. Lastly, the order required the commission to issue a report on its findings, determinations, and recommendations.
New Hampshire Cryptocurrencies & Digital Assets Report Released
On January 19, 2023, the Governor’s Commission on Cryptocurrency and Digital Assets released its final report and recommendations. The commission approved the final report, which can be read in full here, in December 2022. The report recommends law and policy actions to New Hampshire’s state government. The commission concluded that the state should take “strong pro-active and public steps to build a better legal infrastructure for sound development of blockchain technologies and its application.”
Key Recommendations from the New Hampshire Cryptocurrencies & Digital Assets Report
In its report, the commission found that cryptocurrency and digital assets’ legal and regulatory status is “uncertain” and recommended creating a legal framework surrounding blockchain technologies and digital assets.
The commission made specific recommendations for action related to cryptocurrency and blockchain activities, including but not limited to the following:
Create a state legal enterprise law for “Decentralized Autonomous Organizations” to provide transparency, limited liability, and legal status for those who are participating in such networks;
Create and allocate funding for a “Blockchain Dispute Docket” within the state’s Superior Court;
Update the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) as it relates to blockchain technologies;
Create a standing committee in the legislature to review issues that may arise under current state securities laws as well as federal developments;
Clarify that the state’s banking statutes and regulations may apply to cryptocurrency and related services and activities performed by state-chartered banks and trust companies;
Create and allocate funding for a task force to review how blockchain may be used to improve current systems for filing and storing official government records;
Create and allocate funding for a Blockchain Quality Assurance Center at the University of New Hampshire;
Clarify rules promoting partnerships between electricity generation projects and blockchain “mining” businesses in the state; and
Create a standing committee in the legislature to keep tabs on developments that “could impose disproportionate burdens on privacy or property Interests of NH citizens who conduct activities with respect to Crypto-assets, including transactions using Self-Custody technologies.”
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