Connecticut Cryptocurrency Laws

Relevant Statute

General Statutes of Connecticut; The Banking Law of Connecticut – Money Transmission Act
§§ 36a-595 to 36a-612

“Money Transmitter” Definition

“Money transmission” means engaging in the business of issuing or selling payment instruments or stored value, receiving money or monetary value for current or future transmission or the business of transmitting money or monetary value within the United States or to locations outside the United States by any and all means including, but not limited to, payment instrument, wire, facsimile or electronic transfer.
36a-596

Additional Definitions

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

“Payment instrument” means a check, draft, money order, travelers check or electronic payment instrument that evidences either an obligation for the transmission of money or monetary value or payment of money, or the purchase or the deposit of funds for the purchase of such check, draft, money order, travelers check or electronic payment instrument.

“Virtual currency” means any type of digital unit that is used as a medium of exchange or a form of digitally stored value or that is incorporated into payment system technology. Virtual currency shall be construed to include digital units of exchange that (A) have a centralized repository or administrator; (B) are decentralized and have no centralized repository or administrator; or (C) may be created or obtained by computing or manufacturing effort. Virtual currency shall not be construed to include digital units that are used (i) solely within online gaming platforms with no market or application outside such gaming platforms, or (ii) exclusively as part of a consumer affinity or rewards program, and can be applied solely as payment for purchases with the issuer or other designated merchants, but cannot be converted into or redeemed for fiat currency.
36a-596

Exemptions

The provisions of sections 36a-597 to 36a-607, inclusive, and sections 36a-611 and 36a-612 shall not apply to:

(1) Any federally insured federal bank, out-of-state bank, Connecticut bank, Connecticut credit union, federal credit union or out-of-state credit union, provided such institution does not engage in the business of money transmission in this state through any person who is not (A) a federally insured federal bank, out-of-state bank, Connecticut bank, Connecticut credit union, federal credit union or out-of-state credit union, (B) a person licensed pursuant to sections 36a-595 to 36a-612, inclusive, or an authorized delegate acting on behalf of such licensed person, or (C) a person exempt pursuant to subdivision (2) or (3) of this section;

(2) The United States Postal Service and any contractor that engages in the business of money transmission in this state on behalf of the United States Postal Service; and

(3) A person whose activity is limited to the electronic funds transfer of governmental benefits for or on behalf of a federal, state or other governmental agency, quasi-governmental agency or government sponsored enterprise.
36a-609

Registration Fees

$625 Investigation Fee
$2,250 License Fee
36a-599

Bond and Insurance Requirements

(a) As a condition for the issuance and retention of the license, applicants for a license and licensees shall file with the commissioner a surety bond, the form of which shall be approved by the Attorney General, issued by a bonding company or insurance company authorized to do business in this state. The bond shall be conditioned upon the licensee and the licensee’s authorized delegates faithfully performing all obligations with respect to the licensee’s money transmission business in this state and conducting such business in this state consistent with the provisions of sections 36a-595 to 36a-612, inclusive. The bond shall be in favor of the commissioner and run concurrently with the period of the license. For applicants and licensees who will not be engaged in the business of transmitting monetary value in the form of virtual currency, such bond shall be in the principal sum of not less than: (1) Three hundred thousand dollars for any applicant and any licensee with an average weekly amount of money transmissions in this state of less than three hundred thousand dollars for the most recent twelve-month period ending June thirtieth, (2) five hundred thousand dollars for any licensee with an average weekly amount of money transmissions in this state equal to or greater than three hundred thousand dollars but less than or equal to five hundred thousand dollars for the most recent twelve-month period ending June thirtieth, or (3) one million dollars for any licensee with an average weekly amount of money transmissions in this state exceeding five hundred thousand dollars for the most recent twelve-month period ending June thirtieth. For purposes of this section, “money transmissions” includes (A) money or monetary value received or transmitted in this state, and (B) stored value and payment instruments issued or sold in this state. For applicants and licensees who will or may engage in the business of transmitting monetary value in the form of virtual currency, such bond shall be in a principal sum as determined by the commissioner and shall be calculated reasonably to address the current and prospective volatility of the market in such currency or currencies.
36a-602

Bond Alternatives and Additional Insurance Requirements

(d) In lieu of all or part of the principal sum of such surety bonds, applicants for a license and licensees may invest such sum as provided in this subsection. The book or market value, whichever is lower, of such investments shall be equal to the amount of the bond required by subsection (a) of this section less the amount of the bond filed with the commissioner by the applicant or licensee. Such applicants and licensees shall keep such investments with such banks, Connecticut credit unions or federal credit unions as such applicants or licensees may designate and the commissioner may approve, and subject to such conditions as the commissioner deems necessary for the protection of consumers and in the public interest. As used in this subsection, “investments” means: (1) Dollar deposits; and (2) interest-bearing bills, notes, bonds, debentures or other obligations issued or guaranteed by (A) the United States or any of its agencies or instrumentalities, or (B) any state, or any agency, instrumentality, political subdivision, school district or legally constituted authority of any state if such investment is of prime quality. The investments shall secure the same obligation as would a surety bond filed under this section. The investments shall be held at such banks or credit unions to cover claims during the period the license remains in full force and effect and the succeeding two years after such license has been surrendered, revoked or suspended or has expired in accordance with the provisions of sections 36a-595 to 36a-612, inclusive. The licensee shall be permitted to collect interest on such investments and at any time to exchange, examine and compare such investments. The investments made pursuant to this section, even if commingled with other assets of the licensee, shall be deemed by operation of law to be held in trust for the benefit of any claimants against the licensee to serve the faithful performance of the obligations of the licensee and the licensee’s authorized delegates with respect to the licensee’s money transmission business in this state in the event of the bankruptcy of the licensee, and shall be immune from attachment by creditors or judgment creditors.
36a-602

Capital Requirements

(a) Each licensee which issues or sells payment instruments in this state which are checks, drafts or money orders shall at all times have a tangible net worth of at least one hundred thousand dollars.
(b) Each licensee which issues or sells payment instruments in this state which are travelers checks or electronic payment instruments shall at all times have a tangible net worth of at least one million dollars.
(c) Each licensee that engages in the business of money transmission in this state, except by issuing or selling stored value or payment instruments, shall at all times have a tangible net worth of at least five hundred thousand dollars. Each licensee that issues or sells stored value in this state shall at all times have a tangible net worth of at least one million dollars or a higher amount as determined by the commissioner, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
36a-604

(a) Each licensee shall at all times maintain permissible investments having a value, computed in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, at least equal to the aggregate amount of its outstanding money transmissions in this state, provided the value of receivables due from authorized delegates consisting of the proceeds of the sale of payment instruments that are not past due or doubtful of collection shall not exceed thirty per cent of the permissible investments held by the licensee and receivables due from any one person shall not exceed ten per cent of the value of permissible investments held by the licensee.
(b) As used in subsection (a) of this section, “value” means the lower of book or market value, except that with regard to debt obligations which the licensee as a matter of policy retains until maturity, “value” means the greater of book or market value unless the commissioner orders that for some or all investments of a particular licensee, “value” means the lower of book or market value.
(c) Permissible investments, even if commingled with other assets of the licensee, shall be deemed by operation of law to be held in trust for the benefit of any claimants against the licensee to serve the faithful performance of the obligations of the licensee and the licensee’s authorized delegates with respect to the licensee’s money transmission business in this state in the event of the bankruptcy of the licensee, and shall be immune from attachment by creditors or judgment creditors.
36a-603

Money Transmission License Required for Crypto Exchange?

Yes

State Comments or Statements

The Connecticut statute includes virtual currency as a medium of exchange, the issuance, sale and transmission of which requires a money transmitter license.