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Landmark MOU to Launch a Virtual Currency Program
New York Ag Connection - 06/26/2020

Chancellor Kristina Johnson and Superintendent of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell announced that the State University of New York (SUNY) and New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) expressing their joint intent to launch a new SUNY-related virtual currency program, "SUNY BLOCK."

"SUNY's partnership with DFS further builds on Governor Andrew Cuomo's efforts to boost New York's economy by creating new opportunities within our high-tech industries," said SUNY Chancellor Johnson. "Innovation is essential, and a key component is collaborating with SUNY's campuses to develop the next-generation of developers, researchers, and leaders."

With the signed MOU, start-ups and emerging companies participating in the SUNY BLOCK program will be able to apply for a conditional license from DFS in connection with the Department's recently announced proposed conditional licensing framework. This will help foster and diversify research opportunities and innovation emerging from SUNY faculty, staff, students, alumni and the start-ups they create, to help early-stage startups take the leap from idea to market.

"This MOU with SUNY is a strategic step to diversify and deepen the next wave of innovators in the virtual currency space in New York," said Superintendent Lacewell. "The DFS actions announced today in consultation with numerous industry participants and the public will boost responsible innovation and help get New York's economy back on its feet. DFS is proud to foster accessibility and will continue to blaze a trail in the virtual currency marketplace."

SUNY and DFS will also cooperate with respect to FinTech innovation in any other manner, as appropriate, and to share information with respect to any relevant issue involving or related to FinTech.

This signed agreement will help expand the state's virtual currency ecosystem to new geographies and demographics, and support Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's efforts to foster an innovative New York economy and help New York build back better and stronger from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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