Tuesday, May 05, 2015

There's big pressure on New York's bitcoin regulation plan

Soon, virtual currency businesses will have to answer to BitLicense.

It’s an apt choice of name for a regulatory framework that will govern an industry whose players have included BitPay, BitGo, BitAccess, BitPagos, BitInstant, and BitWall. Companies like those, and others in the bitcoin community (and beyond bitcoin), anxiously await the final version of the policy that Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services, has spent nearly a year revising.

The policy will require digital currency companies to obtain a license in order to transmit money on behalf of customers. (Former BitInstant CEO Charlie Shrem went to prison last month for operating an unlicensed money-transmitting service, among other charges.) New York will be the first state to roll out such a policy, but broad bitcoin regulation has a long way to go in the U.S., where 48 different states have their own set of money-transmitting regulations.

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