Digital Assets Literacy Project
In accordance with the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 Appropriations Bill H. 5150, the State Treasurer’s Office has established the Digital Assets Literacy Project to serve as a knowledgeable and trusted resource for the State of South Carolina. The project will focus on two primary functions: 1) developing digital currencies financial literacy materials to educate various audiences; and 2) identifying and preparing for how a digital economy and financial innovation can be used for the benefit of the state and its citizens.
The rapidly expanding digital asset space is part of a larger trend of the digitization of finance. As the State’s Bank, the State Treasurer’s Office recognizes the importance of understanding the financial opportunities and disruptive changes these technologies offer.
Through the Digital Assets Literacy Project, the State Treasurer’s Office will explore the potential efficiencies and risks of the use of digital assets and identify ways stakeholders across the state – including individuals, private businesses and state and local government entities – can benefit from the expanded use of these technologies.
Why explore the use of digital assets in state government? What are the benefits?
The implementation of blockchain technology has the potential to reduce the time, cost and risks of managing sensitive information by providing an immutable and transparent audit trail for regulatory compliance, contract management, identity management and citizen services.
The National Association of State CIOs identified at least five potential use cases for state governments where blockchain technology could be used to assist with transactions, creating a necessary audit trail, authorizing a decision, authenticating authority and establishing a system of record:
- Property – Encode and confirm transfer of property
- Financial – Transfer of currency, stock, private equity, bonds, derivatives; facilitate crowdfunding
- Public Records – Managing the lineage of land titles, vehicle registries, business licenses, passports, voter IDs, death certificates, proof of insurance
- Private Records – Managing and executing contracts, signatures, wills, trusts, escrows
- Physical Asset Keys – Managing access to home, hotel rooms, rental cars, private cars
The State Treasurer’s Office aims to provide valuable guidance to both government agencies and individual consumers to help them better understand the opportunities and challenges of a digital economy and the transformative impact one could have on our state.
Knowledge Center: Learn more and explore additional resources
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- In the news – Bitcoin data mining center opens in Spartanburg Co. (WSPA 7News)
- In the news – Charleston-based group hails state’s decision on digital currency literacy (Charleston City Paper)
- Enabling legislation – 2022-2023 General Appropriations Bill | South Carolina State Budget Bill H. 5150
- Ask CFPB: What are virtual currencies? – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) shares what consumers should know about virtual currencies and considerations to keep in mind.
- Cryptocurrency Curriculum – Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF) provides sample lesson materials and resources for cryptocurrency learning opportunities in the classroom.
- GAO Report on Blockchain Technology – From the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), a technology assessment on the potential uses of blockchain technology.
- Glossary of Related Terms – Definitions of common or related technical terms, as published in the Blockchain Technology Overview report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
- Consumer Advice: What to Know About Cryptocurrency Scams – From the FTC, learn what makes cryptocurrencies different from cash and other payment methods and how to spot scams or detect cryptocurrency accounts that may be compromised.
- Digital Assets: Advisories and Backgrounders – Consumer advisories for market participants about digital assets, as well as general information about digital assets and the CFTC's oversight role. See also: CFTC Virtual Currencies Primer.
- Video: Cryptocurrency Basics – Learn about the very basics of cryptocurrency and common crypto scams in this prerecorded webinar by the S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs.
- What is a Bitcoin Futures ETF? – A breakdown from the CFTC on bitcoin futures exchange-traded funds, how they work and the considerations investors should know about the risks and returns compared to other investment vehicles.
Examples of what other states are doing:
- Colorado – Colorado Department of Revenue: Crypto Currency Now Accepted For All State Tax Payments
- Florida – Florida Blockchain Task Force | 2019 Task Force Report
- Kentucky – Kentucky Blockchain Working Group: 2020 Annual Report
- New York – Virtual Currency Business Activity and the “BitLicense” Regulation
- North Carolina – North Carolina Regulatory Sandbox Act
- Wyoming – Wyoming Blockchain Education for Everyone | 2023 Wyoming Stable Token Act | 2022 Select Committee on Blockchain, Financial Technology and Digital Innovation Technology
- Blockchain 2022 Legislation – A round-up from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) of introduced or enacted legislation related to blockchain technology by state governments.
- Cryptocurrency 2022 Legislation – A round-up from the NCSL of introduced or enacted legislation related to digital currencies by state governments
- Digital Assets and the Federal Banking System – Policy, guidance, advisories and information from the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) about the use of digital assets in the federal banking system.
- (01/24) Reuters: 'US SEC approves bitcoin ETFs in watershed for crypto market' – A news report on the approval of the first U.S.-listed ETFs to track bitcoin. Subsequent statements from the SEC Commissioners can be found below at the following links:
- (09/23) Tokenization: Overview and Financial Stability Implications – A paper from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System that outlines tokenization – a new and rapidly growing financial innovation in crypto asset markets – as well as discusses potential benefits and financial stability implications.
- (03/23) 2023 Economic Report of the President – An annual report produced by the Council of Economic Advisers. The 2023 report features a section entitled “Digital Assets: Relearning Economic Principles,” (beginning on Page 237 of the report) which reviews the perceived appeal of crypto assets, as well as the risks and costs.
- (01/23) Joint Statement on Crypto-Asset Risks to Banking Organizations – Federal bank regulatory agencies issued a joint statement on crypto-asset risks to banking organizations, highlighting key risks associated with crypto-assets and crypto-asset sector participants that banking organizations should be aware of.
- (07/22) FDIC Deposit Insurance and Crypto Companies – A fact sheet from the FDIC on what the public needs to know about FDIC deposit insurance and crypto companies.
- (05/22) Money and Payments: The U.S. Dollar in the Age of Digital Transformation – A paper from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System examining the pros and cons of a potential U.S. central bank digital currency, or CBDC. See also: CBDC Frequently Asked Questions.
- (03/22) GFOA Advisory for Governments –An advisement from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for governments to abstain from using and investing in cryptocurrency for government operations.
- (03/22) White House Fact Sheet: Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets – An overview of an Executive Order outlining the first ever, whole-of-government approach to addressing the risks and harnessing the potential benefits of digital assets and their underlying technology.