BitFlyer USA, the American branch of Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange BitFlyer, unveiled upcoming compatibility in the U.S. state of Hawaii.
"We chose Hawaii due to the regulatory sandbox for digital currency they set up," BitFlyer COO Joel Edgerton told Cointelegraph. "We also chose Hawaii due to close links between the state and Japan," he added. "Our name recognition is particularly high in Hawaii.”
Hawaii’s Division of Financial Institutions and its Technology Development Corporation constructed the Digital Currency Innovation Lab — the gateway used to bring BitFlyer into the state, said an Aug. 19 statement BitFlyer provided to Cointelegraph.
In its initial phases of experimentation, the Digital Currency Innovation Lab acts as a regulatory playground, giving crypto companies two years of leeway in Hawaii to function void of a money transmitter license, the statement included. BitFlyer will offer Hawaiians use of its exchange on desktop and mobile devices.
BitFlyer often evaluates the regulatory scene across different U.S. regions, with the move into Hawaii resulting from accommodating rules and regulations recently placed in the state, Edgerton explained. BitFlyer is currently available in 48 U.S. states and territories.
"The new Hawaii program is unique and approved to continue until Dec. 31, 2022," Edgerton explained. "We hope that the sandbox program will give regulators visibility into the innovation of companies working in the program and approve a long term licensing regime for cryptocurrency exchanges beyond the program end date."
The move into Hawaii also correlates with Japan, according to BitFlyer USA founder and CEO, Yuzo Kano. “Since many Japanese people live in or travel to Hawaii, it is the state that serves as a bridge between Japan and the U.S.," he told Cointelegraph. "Offering our service here is very significant as an exchange that originates in Japan."