Concord, NH – New Hampshire exempted bitcoin from money transmission regulation by a bill signed into law by Governor Chris Sununu. The bill states that individuals “who engage in the business of selling or issuing payment instruments or stored value solely in the form of convertible virtual currency or receive convertible virtual currency for transmission to another location” are exempted from the state’s money transmission regulations.
Rep. Barbara Biggie, a former employee of Western Union, introduced the bill. Rep. Keith Ammon, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said the bill’s intentions represent those who swap virtual currency for U.S. dollars. Ammon asserts that this bill is very important as earlier attempts to legislate a similar bill weren’t coordinated well. During a 2015 attempt to institute a regulation, cryptocurrency businesses succumbed to state banking authorities leaving currency markets like Poloniex out of operations in certain jurisdictions.
The bill will protect consumers when using virtual currencies, implying that cryptocurrency companies would be able to operate without adhering to stringent AML and KYC regulations.
Policy analysts and proponents of cryptocurrencies are enthusiastic about such and similar political progress, as it opens up various perspectives for the cryptocurrency industries. One of those proponents is Coin Center’s Jerry Brito. He says it is a “great step in the right direction.” Right now, Brito is working with the Uniform Law Commission in hopes to have every state adopt virtual currency friendly laws.
New Hampshire is one of a few States that have these exemptions
In the U.S., most states haven’t introduced cryptocurrency exemption bills. Consequently, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are subject to money transmission regulations. In those states, cryptocurrency businesses such as digital currency exchanges have to adhere to a distinct licensing arrangement, which results in compliance and lawyer fees. For example, New York has a chain of laws that hinder cryptocurrency business in the state. Some of the barriers that stand in the way are 51 distinct money transmitter licenses.
Signed Law: https://legiscan.com/NH/bill/HB436/2017
Felix Shipkevich is a principal of Shipkevich PLLC.PLLC. His practice focuses on providing counsel to FinTech and financial services firms, including financial technology, payments and emerging digital currency space. He has spoken at national panels in the money transmitter space and payments industry. Mr. Shipkevich’s payments practice has brought him into contact with money transmitter registration requirements in all fifty U.S. States.
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