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DFPI issues recommendations for engaging in crypto technologies

State Issues Digital Assets California State Regulators DFPI Cryptocurrency

State Issues

In December, the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) issued a report identifying six recommendations for how California should engage with blockchain and Web3 industries. The report follows a May 2022 Executive Order (E.O.) from the California governor to create a regulatory and business environment for blockchain and cryptocurrency companies that balances the benefits and risks to consumers. As previously covered by InfoBytes, one of the priorities of the E.O. included for DFPI to, among other things, engage in a public process, including with federal agencies, to “develop a comprehensive regulatory approach to crypto assets harmonized with the direction of federal regulations and guidance” and “exercise its authority under the California Consumer Financial Protection Law (CCFPL) to develop guidance and, as appropriate, regulatory clarity and supervision of private entities offering crypto asset-related financial products and services” in California. The report made six recommendations to “encourage the continued growth and adoption of blockchain technology.”

  • Engagement with stakeholders. The state should “continue dialogue with industry, advocates, and regulators to stay apprised of new technologies, products, definitions and risks.”
  • Consumer protection and education. The state should promote consumer protection and consumer education about blockchain and crypto products, which includes, among other things: (i) training staff to better supervise regulated entities, products, and services; (ii) increasing efforts to educate Californians on how to use certain crypto-asset related financial products and services; and (iii) developing and publishing “standards for use in reviewing crypto asset-related securities to help provide more meaningful investor disclosures and to allow companies who wish to offer such securities more quickly and efficiently.”
  • Legislation and regulation. The state should identify legislative gaps and clarify statutory authority regarding crypto assets. DFPI will attempt to harmonize California’s regulatory approach with federal regulators, other states, and local jurisdictions.
  • Government use. The state should consider ways to use blockchain technology to “increase efficiencies, improve access, and reduce costs.”
  • Environmental protection. The state should encourage more environmentally efficient blockchain technologies and explore policy interventions to reduce energy use.
  • Workforce and economic development. The state should tap its higher education systems to help support and grow the blockchain sector and related technologies.