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Jan 08

pnutjam writes: New York is proposing a statewide virtual currency aimed at helping unbanked citizens get access to day-to-day financial transactions without predatory fees. Since there are an estimated 14 million U.S. adults without bank accounts, lawmakers in New York are trying to fix this with a new bill that “would create a ‘public Venmo’ system designed to include more people in the formal economy and stimulate local economic growth,” reports Motherboard. “In November, New York State Assemblymember Ron Kim, Senator Julia Salazar, and Cornell law professor Robert Hockett announced their Inclusive Value Ledger (IVL) proposal. If passed, it would create the country’s first publicly owned electronic banking platform, as well as a digital currency that can be exchanged for goods and services within the state.”

“The IVL plan calls for New York State to distribute the $55 billion per year in uncollected individual tax credits through a ‘public Venmo,’ a publicly-administered, non-extractive payment system that would allow recipients to spend freely within the state economy without transaction fees or delays,” the report says. “Every business and individual residing in New York would be issued a virtual wallet, connected to a state government-controlled master wallet, that could act as a viable alternative to a bank account without the fees of a for-profit bank.” The proposal does not include any specifics as to how the payment system will be secure, nor does it address the specific privacy needs for certain groups the lawmakers hope the system will serve, such as people who are undocumented.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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