Today, the Senate Finance Committee approved SB 470, the Regulatory Sandbox bill. The legislation will now go to the Rules Committee before having a vote before the full Senate.

In a recent research brief, my colleague Jon Sanders explained how the regulatory sandbox works:

“What’s a regulatory sandbox? It’s a colorful phrase for a new administrative approach to regulation when it comes to newly emerging products and services. The idea exhibits the kind of mutual respect for innovation and regulation discussed above.

As described in RealClear Policy, “Regulatory sandboxes are closed testing environments where firms can experiment with innovative new products, services, and business models for a limited period of time, under some form of modified regulatory environment.”

I had the opportunity to testify in the Senate Finance Committee, speaking in support of the bill. Here is my testimony:

Good afternoon my name is Jordan Roberts, I work on the government affairs team for the John Locke Foundation.

I’m here today to speak in support of Senate Bill 470. I would like to thank the bill sponsors, Senators Johnson and Hise for introducing this bill and thank this committee for considering the idea. This is an incredibly forward-looking piece of legislation that recognizes the coming growth in the FinTech industry. It also recognizes that often government regulation moves slower than the innovation in the private sector.

Traditional financial, banking, and insurance products are increasingly becoming digitized and decentralized. Because of this shift, these new products may not meet current statutory definitions.

Decentralized financial products, blockchain technology, and smart contracts will continue to grow in popularity.

By setting up this regulatory sandbox, we can signal to a growing group of entrepreneurs and new businesses that North Carolina is committed to FinTech innovation.

As we move into an increasingly digitized world, SB 470 will ensure collaboration between a growing industry and state regulators as this environment continues to expand.

I would like to thank you for your time and we would ask for your support on this bill.