How 5 States Are Approaching Bitcoin Regulation

May 15, 2017

BitAML Founder, Joe Ciccolo, recently sat down with Coinfirm CEO, Pawel Kuskowski, and Bitcoin Magazine to discuss regulatory activities across five U.S. states — Washington, Illinois, Hawaii, California and Florida — and what the regulatory landscape may look like in the days ahead.

The following are brief excerpts from the article published in Bitcoin Magazine:

There has already been a bit of fallout, however, as some cryptocurrency-centric startups are now thinking twice about operating in the state, with several firms having pulled out in the past year, noting the increasingly challenging regulatory environment. These include digital currency exchanges Bitfinex, Bitstamp and Poloniex, the latter of which has exited Washington.

“The State of Washington also appears to have applied a relatively heavy cybersecurity component, including broad and sweeping audits of data and other systems,” says Ciccolo. “Cybersecurity is a hot-button issue that continues to remain in the headlines. Bitcoin companies are wary of a regulatory interpretation of cybersecurity fitness, especially given the nascent stage of Bitcoin and the ongoing knowledge gap as it pertains to the crypto space. For some national players, it seemed the obvious and safe choice was to simply exit the state altogether.”

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In November of 2016, Secretary Bryan A. Schneider of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) announced a new initiative with implications for cryptocurrencies in that state. This “Digital Currency Regulatory Guidance” is Illinois’s attempt to provide regulatory clarity on digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Zcash. The proposed guidance provides IDFPR’s interpretation of Illinois’s Transmitters of Money Act (TOMA) related to various activities tied to digital currencies.

Says Ciccolo: “The IDFPR and Secretary Schneider continue to deliver on the state’s promise of encouraging and supporting innovation in FinTech, Bitcoin and blockchain [technology]. What we’re doing in Illinois is quite possibly unprecedented in the area of financial regulation. Our state regulators are listening and thoughtfully engaging with industry while considering the impact of any laws and regulations. I’m very optimistic about the continued growth of financial innovation in the Land of Lincoln, and Chicago as a center for the new era of financial services.”

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