Testimony to the New Hampshire Statehouse on Virtual Currencies
Jeremy Kauffman • Jan 26 2017
[As the governor-appointed industry expert on virtual currencies for New Hampshire, yesterday I testified on the regulation of virtual currencies. Below is the written form of the testimony.]
Thank you for having me here today and thank you for spending your time and energy on behalf of the people and businesses of New Hampshire.
I am a scientist and serial entrepreneur. My most recent company, LBRY, employs several people here in New Hampshire working in the virtual currency industry. As governor, Senator Hassan appointed me as the industry expert on virtual currencies. Jeremy Hitchcock, the founder and director of Dyn, is an investor and on our board of directors.
The innovation of the blockchain, the technology that makes virtual currencies possible, is one of the most significant innovations of the last decade. With my brain, my heart, and my wallet, I believe that this innovation will have a profound and positive impact on society. It will reduce costs, increase freedom and transparency, and facilitate a world that is more egalitarian, free, and just.
As long as it is not strangled in its infancy.
Today, America is the world leader in information technology. It comprises over $1 trillion of our national GDP and is directly responsible for six million jobs. However, very few people foresaw this outcome in the late 1980s. Fortunately, the government at the time took a hands-off approach. Had it not, the small-scale, rapid innovation that is required at the beginning of an industry could have been throttled or killed.
Currently, New Hampshire has the highest per-capita virtual currency usage of any state in America. States like New York have chosen to enforce burdensome rules regarding virtual currencies, and several companies have moved or closed.
I would urge New Hampshire to take a different path. It is well-poised to be a leader in this industry -- so long as it encourages, rather than encumbers, the ability to do business here.
Enacting this legislation would send a signal flare to the entire technology industry that New Hampshire is the best place in the world to work on blockchain technology.