Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis has released plans to create a new position of cryptocurrency chief to oversee the industry in the state, according to an announcement published June 26.
Patronis, who also serves as State Fire Marshal and supervises the Department of Financial Services, ordered his office to create a position that will manage the application of current insurance and securities laws to initial coin offerings (ICOs) and digital currencies. The designee will also develop a regulatory framework within the state.
According to the announcement, the new position will coordinate the work of the Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) and Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) on the development of policy, legislation, and regulation. ICO and crypto companies based in Florida will be required to register with the OFR and be supervised by the cryptocurrency chief. Patronis said:
“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.”
Patronis stated that the establishment of a cryptocurrency chief will help protect citizens from scams, as well as understand the risks and benefits associated with the cryptocurrency industry. Senate President-Designate Bill Galvano supported the idea, arguing that Florida “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.”
In the beginning of June, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) created a similar position. The new senior advisory position taken by Valerie A. Szczepanik will oversee securities regulation of the crypto sphere. She will be tasked with “coordinat[ing] efforts across all SEC Divisions and Offices regarding the application of U.S. securities laws to emerging digital asset technologies and innovations, including ICOs and cryptocurrencies.”