Alaska Cryptocurrency Laws

Relevant Statute

Alaska Uniform Money Services Act; Chapter 55: Money Services; Article 1. Money Transmission Licenses (Sec. 06.55.101

“Money” Definition

“Money” means a medium of exchange that is authorized or adopted by the United States or a foreign government, including a monetary unit of account established by an intergovernmental organization or by agreement between two or more governments.
06.55.990

“Money Transmitter” Definition

“Money transmission” means selling or issuing payment instruments or stored value, or receiving money or
monetary value for transmission, but does not include the provision solely of delivery, online services,
telecommunications services, or network access.
06.55.990

Additional Definitions

“Monetary equivalent” means, for money transmissions that will be redeemed in a currency other than the
currency that the customer uses to purchase the money transmission, the amount of money in the currency of the government that the recipient of the money transmission is to receive, as converted at the retail exchange rate offered by the money transmission licensee to the customer for the money transmission.
06.55.890

“Payment instrument” means a check, a draft, a money order, a traveler’s check, or another instrument for the
transmission or payment of money or monetary value, whether or not negotiable, but does not include a credit card voucher, a letter of credit, or an instrument that is redeemable by the issuer in goods or services.

“Monetary value” means a medium of exchange, whether or not redeemable in money.
06.55.990

Exemptions

This chapter does not apply to
(1) the United States or a department, an agency, or an instrumentality of the United States;
(2) money transmission by the United States Postal Service or by a contractor on behalf of the United States Postal Service;
(3) a state, a municipality, a county, or another governmental agency or governmental subdivision of a state;
(4) a bank, a bank holding company, an office of an international banking corporation, a branch of a foreign bank, a corporation organized under 12 USC 1861-1867 (Bank Service Company Act), or a corporation organized under 12 USC 611-633 (Edge Act) under the laws of a state or the United States, if it does not issue, sell, or provide payment instruments
or stored value through an authorized delegate who is not a bank, a bank holding company, an office of an international banking corporation, a branch of a foreign bank, a corporation organized under 12 USC 1861-1867 (Bank Service Company Act), or a corporation organized under 12 USC 611-633 (Edge Act) under the laws of a state or the United States;
(5) electronic funds transfer of governmental benefits for a federal, state, or municipal agency or a state political subdivision by a contractor on behalf of
(A) the United States or a department, an agency, or an instrumentality of the United States; or
(B) a state, or a department, an agency, or an instrumentality of a state;
(6) a board of trade or a person who, in the ordinary course of business, provides clearance and settlement services for a board of trade, to the extent of the operation of the person for a board of trade; in this paragraph, “board of trade” means a board of trade designated as a contract market under 7 USC 1-27f (Commodity Exchange Act);
(7) a registered futures commission merchant under the federal commodities laws, to the extent of the merchant’s operation as a registered futures commission merchant under the federal commodities laws;
(8) a person who provides clearance or settlement services under a registration as a clearing agency or an exemption from the registration granted under the federal securities laws, to the extent of the person’s operation as a provider of clearance or settlement services under a registration as a clearing agency or an exemption from the registration grantedunder the federal securities laws;
(9) an operator of a payment system to the extent that the operator provides processing, clearing, or settlementservices, between or among persons excluded by this section, in connection with wire transfers, credit card transactions, debit card transactions, stored-value transactions, automated clearinghouse transfers, or similar funds transfers; or
(10) a person registered as a securities broker-dealer under federal or state securities laws, to the extent of the person’s operation as a securities broker-dealer under federal or state securities laws.
06.55.802

Registration Fees

$1,000 License Fee
$2,000 Application Fee

Bond and Insurance Requirements

(a) Except as otherwise provided in (b) of this section, a surety bond, a letter of credit, or another similar security
acceptable to the department in the amount of $25,000 plus $5,000 for each location, not exceeding a total addition of $125,000, must accompany an application for a money transmission license.
(b) Security must be in a form satisfactory to the department and payable to the state for the benefit of a claimant against the money transmission licensee to secure the faithful performance of the obligations of the money transmission licensee with respect to money transmission.
(c) The aggregate liability on a surety bond may not exceed the principal sum of the bond. A claimant against a money transmission licensee may maintain an action on the bond, or the department may maintain an action on behalf of the claimant.
(d) A surety bond must cover claims for as long as the department specifies, but for at least five years after the money transmission licensee ceases to provide money services in this state. However, the department may permit the amount of security to be reduced or eliminated before the expiration of that time to the extent the amount of the money transmission licensee’s payment instruments or stored-value obligations outstanding in this state is reduced. The department may permit a money transmission licensee to substitute another form of security acceptable to the department for the security effective at the time the money transmission licensee ceases to provide money services in this state.
06.55.104

Bond Alternatives and Additional Insurance Requirements

(e) Instead of the security prescribed in this section, an applicant for a money transmission license or a money transmission licensee may provide security in a form prescribed by the department.
(f) The department may increase the amount of security required to a maximum of $500,000 if the financial condition of a money transmission licensee requires the increase, as evidenced by reduction of net worth, financial losses, or other relevant criteria.
06.55.104

Capital Requirements

A money transmission licensee shall maintain a net worth of at least $25,000 determined under generally accepted
accounting principles.
06.55.107

Money Transmission License Required for Crypto Exchange?

No

State Comments or Statements

“Our Money Transmitters License does not license companies to transmit virtual currencies (cryptocurrencies). All organizations dealing with virtual currencies must apply for a money transmitters license, then enter into a Limited Licensing Agreement with the State of Alaska, as a condition to their money transmitters license, whereas the license will not be used for transmitting virtual currency, it shall not be implied that the license is for the transmission of virtual currency, and it will be disclosed that the license does not cover the transmission of virtual currency.”
https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/dbs/LimitedLicenseAgreementOrders.aspx
https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/portals/3/pub/AK-MT-011361.pdf
https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/portals/3/pub/AK-MT-011268.pdf

Alaska’s Division of Banking and Services requires that a licensee or applicant who requests approval of a license to provide transmission of virtual currency enter into a Limited License Agreement with the Alaska Department of Commerce. However, at this moment, Alaska’s Division of Banking and Services is not authorized to regulate virtual currencies.

House Bill 180, introduced in March 2017 but stalled in legislature, would define and include virtual currency regulations requiring a money transmitter license.
H.B. 180, 30th Leg., 1st Sess. (Alaska 2017)

Money transmission statute includes concept of “monetary value” as a medium of exchange whether or not redeemable in money.