Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Proposes Creating a Cryptocurrency Payment System for State Fees

The American politician and attorney serving as the 46th governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, announced the state’s 2022-23 budget proposal last week and proposed an idea to let businesses pay state fees with crypto assets. The governor’s “Freedom First Budget” suggests creating a department in Florida to accept state fees in cryptocurrencies.

Florida Governor’s Freedom First Budget Includes Crypto

The Republican governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis seems to be keen on allowing businesses in Florida to pay for state fees in crypto assets. Florida is becoming well known for its politicians who are positive about the digital currency economy as Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has been very vocal about supporting bitcoin. Suarez gets a portion of his salary in BTC and recently announced he plans to take a fraction of his 401k retirement plan and convert it into bitcoin.

A report published by Fortune says DeSantis has explained in recent times that he wants the Florida state government to become “crypto-friendly.” “Florida encourages cryptocurrency as a means of commerce and furthering Florida’s attractiveness to businesses and economic growth,” DeSantis wrote in Florida’s 2022-23 budget proposal.

During His Speech in Tallahassee, DeSantis Discussed Leveraging Blockchain Pilots to Bolster State-Operated Departments

DeSantis also spoke about the budget proposal in a speech on Thursday in Tallahassee. “Our view as the state government is this is something that we welcome and we want to make sure that the state government is crypto-friendly,” the Florida governor remarked. In addition to Miami’s Mayor Francis Suarez, crypto businesses like Blockchain.com, Etoro, and FTX have locations in Florida and Miami.

During his speech in Tallahassee, DeSantis also discussed blockchain technology. The Florida governor explained that the state aims to launch pilot programs that tether distributed ledger technology to state-operated entities like Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and Medicaid payments. While DeSantis has officially launched his bid for reelection as the state’s governor, there are rumors DeSantis may run for president of the United States in 2024.

What do you think about Ron DeSantis proposing that Florida businesses could pay state fees with crypto assets? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Why a securities specific blockchain is needed, explained

Security tokens deployed on a purpose-built blockchain may be the solution to financial institution adoption.

How can a securities-specific blockchain accelerate adoption?

A successful securities-specific blockchain fills all gaps in the current Ethereum architecture by providing efficiency, automation and transparency.

Aligning a functioning blockchain with the needs of modern capital markets will require solutions to governance, identity, compliance, confidentiality and settlement. To address these gaps, Polymath has spearheaded the creation of Polymesh, an institutional-grade, public, permissioned blockchain built specifically for regulated assets. In practice, the platform aims to address these five challenges by:

  • Requiring users to validate their identity with a verified service provider when they are initially onboarded
  • Automating the compliance of assets in a transparent and real-time manner to simplify their reporting and remove the need for complex systems 
  • Implementing a confidential transaction workflow that allows cryptographic proofs to be safely mixed with off-chain declarations.
  • Operating under the governance of a main council and a set of specialized sub-committees 
  • Addressing the probabilistic finality that currently prevents the technology from acting as a golden ownership standard

Taken together, a securities-specific blockchain will address these five key gaps that exist in Ethereum’s architecture. A securities-specific blockchain will also provide increased efficiency, automation and transparency to capital markets in general. These three factors will act as significant improvements in bringing down the costs and time for existing asset classes and processes. The result will be lower fees, new investable asset classes, more exciting options for investors.

Polymesh launched on Oct. 28, 2021, following a successful incentivized testnet with more than 4,300 users. Users can now use the chain to create, issue, and manage security tokens as well as participate in on-chain activities like governance and staking.  

Visit polymesh.network for more information

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What issues need to be addressed in security tokens to bring them to institutional standards?

ERC-1400 has made security tokens much more viable for institutions, although concerns still exist around securing and settling public securities.

ERC-1400, a proposed standard for issuing and managing security tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, has already come a long way in making security tokens more viable for institutions. Unfortunately, these standards still lack functionality and scalability since general-purpose blockchains like Ethereum are not ideal for securities.

An area of contention still exists in how public securities can be cleared and settled. Some regulators already look to off-chain methods as a solution for recordkeeping, although they leverage on-chain security tokens to represent the securities themselves. On the other side, some regulators have fully embraced the blockchain as the golden source of truth. Furthermore, a debate still exists on the Central Securities Depository’s role in improving processes.

What are security tokens, and what opportunities do they provide?

Security tokens create new possibilities due to their enhanced features and ability to follow existing regulations, with opportunities in fractionalizing asset pools or tokenizing cash flows.

Security tokens are regulated assets on the blockchain and can be identified as investment contracts. Security tokens can represent ownership in an asset such as equity, real estate, debt, etc. The only difference between them and a traditional asset is that each is created digitally. Due to their tokenized nature, security tokens can unlock the power of the blockchain by providing enhanced features, including automated operations, increased global liquidity pools, and the creation of new financial assets.

As a result, security tokens bring new opportunities for investments and reduce costs for everyone in capital markets. For example, a user can tokenize a cash flow from a specific product at a specific company. As a tokenized asset, investors can now gain exposure to the specific cash flow from the company rather than the whole company. Another example can be applied to real estate. In this example, owners can now sell a fraction of equity in a larger asset pool rather than an entire fund, providing benefits such as reduced friction and a quicker closing time.

Additionally, security tokens follow existing regulations. Therefore, regulators are generally comfortable with their usage since the industry has already clearly defined and shown an understanding of these laws.

What is preventing the widespread adoption of blockchain by financial institutions?

Although many institutions have been interested in the technology for a while, they still have concerns around regulatory uncertainty and the challenges with the existing infrastructure.

More institutions than ever before have become curious about blockchain. In fact, according to Deloitte’s 2021 Global Blockchain Survey, almost 80% of the respondents shared that digital assets would become very important to their respective industries over the next 12 months.

Even though digital assets are being used more broadly, there are still obstacles that must be overcome prior to mainstream adoption by financial institutions. 

Among these challenges is identity, which is often an after-thought that runs in opposition to the pseudonymity and decentralized nature of Ethereum (ETH), creating compliance challenges for issuers and investors alike. 

Furthermore, governance has also proven to be an obstacle and risk due to the number of hard forks that typically occur during Ethereum upgrades. Finally, compliance is often hindered by transaction limitations within the technology architecture.

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon Believes Blockchain Is More Important Than Bitcoin

goldman sachs

David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs, one of the leading banking institutions in the world, has stated his opinion on the bitcoin vs blockchain dilemma. To Solomon, bitcoin is not as important as the advancements in technology that implementing blockchain and other new ledger-based tools can bring to the traditional finance world. The executive further stated he doesn’t own bitcoin or ethereum personally.

Goldman Sachs CEO on Bitcoin

David Solomon, CEO of one of the biggest banks in the world, Goldman Sachs, has explained that for him, bitcoin is less important than the technology behind it. The executive issued these statements in an interview on CNBC’s Squawkbox on Tuesday. When asked about his views on crypto, Solomon answered:

My view on, on bitcoin for example is I really don’t know but it’s really not something, you know, individually that’s important to me.

Furthermore, he argued that the true value of bitcoin lies in the technology that powers it, blockchain, and how it can affect the future of the financing world. Solomon stated that he is a ‘”big believer” in the disruption that these technologies are causing, and that Goldman Sachs is also trying to participate in this revolution vis its services app.

Solomon: ‘Bitcoin Is Not the Key Thing’

Solomon also stated that in his opinion, bitcoin was not essential in the view of the banking industry, and that was the influence of the new technologies that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have brought with it that was the key for the modernization of current banking platforms. Solomon stressed:

I think bitcoin is really not the key thing. The key thing is how can blockchain or other technologies that are not developed yet accelerate the pace of the digitization of the way financial services are delivered.

However, he did state that as a speculative asset it was important for Goldman Sachs to offer bitcoin to its customers, to let them bet on the market behavior of the currency.

In the last year, bitcoin (BTC) has been vindicated as a valid asset by several important banking institutions, including JPMorgan, which had criticized the true utility of bitcoin’s proposal several times in the past. The bank started offering access to cryptocurrency investments for its customers earlier this year. The critics of its CEO Jamie Dimon, who said bitcoin was worthless before, didn’t affect the ability of the bank to provide this kind of service to its customers.

What do you think about David Solomon’s “blockchain, not bitcoin” approach? Tell us in the comments section below.