Coinbase, Exchanges

Is Coinbase Legal in Hawaii?

It’s no secret that the legal status of cryptocurrencies is still very much up in the air in many countries around the world. In the United States, for example, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has only recently begun to take action against ICOs and exchanges that it deems to be operating illegally.

And in China, despite a crackdown on exchanges and ICOs earlier this year, the country’s central bank is still reportedly working on its own cryptocurrency. So it’s no surprise that there is much confusion about whether or not Coinbase, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, is legal in Hawaii.

The short answer is yes, Coinbase is legal in Hawaii. The long answer is a bit more complicated.

NOTE: WARNING: It is illegal to buy or sell cryptocurrency in Hawaii. Coinbase does not offer services in the state of Hawaii and therefore, using Coinbase is not legal in Hawaii. If you are caught using Coinbase in Hawaii, you may be subject to criminal penalties.

Coinbase first launched its services in Hawaii in February of this year after receiving approval from the state’s Division of Financial Institutions (DFI). However, Coinbase soon ran into trouble with the DFI when it was revealed that the exchange had been operating without a money transmitter license.

As a result, Coinbase was ordered to stop doing business in Hawaii until it could obtain the proper license.

Coinbase eventually did obtain a money transmitter license from the DFI, but not before suspending all trading activity on its platform for Hawaiian users. Trading on Coinbase resumed in Hawaii earlier this month after the exchange received approval from the state’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA).

So while Coinbase may have been operating illegally in Hawaii at one point, it is now fully licensed to do business in the state. This should come as a relief to Hawaiian investors who were left in limbo when trading on Coinbase was suspended earlier this year.

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