Legal and IP News

Governor of California signs web3, crypto executive order

california governor newsom

Yesterday the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom signed an Executive Order to encourage responsible innovation in the web3 sector.

According to the State, a quarter of U.S. blockchain startups are based in California, including the high profile cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. A key driver seems to be ensuring that California remains the center of innovation in the United States. Wyoming has made legislative moves, and the Mayors of Miami and New York are trying to attract well-heeled blockchain startups.

“What we would not want to see is a situation where states are competing with one another to attract businesses by either lowering standards or providing incentives,” Timothy Massad, former Chair of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, told CNBC.

One of the targets of the Order is to provide regulatory clarity and consumer protection while encouraging responsible innovation. The word ‘responsible’ was mentioned eight times in the document. 

The Governor also wants to ensure that California’s approach is consistent with the federal stance after President Biden issued his digital assets Executive Order in March. California’s report will be published 60 days after the publication required by the President’s Order.

California has strong stances on the environment and inclusivity, and it wants to address these in any regulatory approach. The Governor also mentioned the unintended social consequences of new technologies.

Not just crypto

Apart from regulatory clarity for crypto-assets, the state plans to explore adopting solutions for government applications and the broader economy. The web3 sector struggles with skills shortages, and that’s another area California plans to address to build talent and promote adult education.

Blockchain industry body, the Chamber of Digital Commerce, said it’s pleased that the Californian approach will be consistent with federal policy, avoiding a regulatory patchwork. “The California executive order rightly recognizes the role blockchain technologies play in spurring job growth and economic competitiveness for the state, but also the national economy,” it said.

Image Copyright: State of California