TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis today released a statement on the need for Florida to provide oversight of the growing industry of cryptocurrency by creating a statewide cryptocurrency chief.
CFO Jimmy Patronis said:
Florida can no longer remain on the sidelines when it comes to cryptocurrency. I have directed my office to create a position that will oversee how current securities and insurance laws apply to Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies as well as shape the future of these regulations in our state. ICO and cryptocurrency companies based in Florida will also be required to register with the Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) under the supervision of the cryptocurrency chief. The new position will coordinate the efforts of OFR and Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) regarding the development of policy, legislation and regulation.
The Alabama Securities Commission recently sent a cease and desist order to Platinum Coin from Miami to prohibit the company from issuing securities within Alabama. Other states have identified and are taking action against bad actors in the cryptocurrency industry. Florida must also protect our residents.
We cannot allow the cryptocurrency industry to expand in Florida unfettered and unchecked with the potential for so many, including our large population of seniors, to be exploited. By taking an active, comprehensive and balanced approach, our state will provide an appropriate level of scrutiny for emerging digital asset technologies. It is absolutely essential that Florida create safeguards to protect our consumers from fraud.
Cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly accepted as forms of payment for many transactions across the state, including by government entities. The Seminole County Tax Collector announced that the office will accept bitcoin as payment for property taxes, identification cards and license plates.
The establishment of a cryptocurrency chief in the state will help protect Floridians from scams. Understanding the risks and benefits of this emerging industry will benefit Florida consumers. My goal is to keep pace with demand and not deter innovation while monitoring for fraudulent behavior and scams.
Senate President-Designate Bill Galvano championed the idea stating, “As technology continues to develop, our state needs to be both on the forefront of emerging trends and ahead of the game when it comes to protecting consumers from those who want to scam our residents. I applaud CFO Patronis for putting innovative proposals forward and will work with him on any forthcoming policy changes."
About CFO Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a native Floridian and a member of Florida’s Cabinet, who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).