New York Lawmaker Proposes Local Cryptocurrency Trials

Ron Kim New York State Assembly Cryptocurrencies Digital Money

A lawmaker in New York has set out plans that could lead to the introduction of cryptocurrencies aimed at local communities across the state.

Ron Kim, a member of the New York State Assembly, submitted the proposals in Bill A11018, which seeks to amend urban development plans to allow for 10 new cryptocurrencies. The cryptocurrencies, or alternative forms of digital money, would be set up with the aim of targeting specific local communities, as part of a wider pilot program to determine feasibility.

It is hoped that the plan would encourage residents to spend money within their local communities, with blockchain technology specifically referenced in the bill as one of the main methods of implementation.

The bill says the technology would “allow us to implement this seamlessly by allowing consumers, citizens and business owners to trade in and out from dollars to (cryptocurrencies) instantaneously.”

The text of the bill also highlights how the measures could help correct a perception of cryptocurrencies at a local level, impressions it says are “unduly” negative. Further, it considers that the younger generations are “not only familiar with but expect widespread use of blockchain technology.”

“By giving new mission and purpose to this form of currency, we are empowering people to take ownership of local growth. By trading in their dollars for a local community currency, either in the form of a digital or cryptocurrency, people will keep their money in their neighborhoods, pay taxes and also earn tangible rewards for positive civic action.”

Explaining his decision to support the move, Kim described the potential benefits for local economies.

“Community currencies are the next step in fostering regional economic growth and local civic participation ... Every local dollar spent in a mom-and-pop store stimulates local job growth.”

If passed into law, the trials would represent one of the first moves of their kind from lawmakers in the U.S., leveraging the qualities of blockchain technology for local economic development.

While the bill still has some way to go before it can be passed into law, policymakers elsewhere will no doubt be keeping a close eye on developments.