Georgia Cryptocurrency Laws

Relevant Statute

O.C.G.A. § 7-1-680

“Money Transmitter” Definition

(13) “Money transmission,” “transmit money,” or “transmission of money” means engaging in the business of receiving money or monetary value for transmission or transmitting money or monetary value within the United States or to locations abroad by any and all means, including, but not limited to, an order, wire, facsimile, or electronic transfer. The term does not include closed-loop transactions. (14) “Money transmitter” means a person licensed under this article to transmit money. 7-1-680

Additional Definitions

7-1-680 was amended to include: “(26) ‘Virtual currency’ means a digital representation of monetary value that does not have legal tender status as recognized by the United States government. The term does not include the software or protocols governing the transfer of the digital representation of monetary value. The term also does not include units of value that are issued in an affinity or rewards program and that cannot be redeemed for money or virtual currencies. Neither does the term include an affinity or rewards program tied to a credit, debit, or prepaid card that awards points for purchases or other transactions, which points can be redeemed for dollar denominated credit to a checking, credit card, or prepaid account, or for a gift card, goods, travel, or services.” “Monetary value” means a medium of exchange whether or not redeemable in money.

Exemptions

The requirement for licensure set forth in this article shall not apply to: (1) Any state or federally chartered bank, trust company, credit union, savings and loan association, or savings bank with deposits that are federally insured; (2) Any authorized agent of a licensee; (3) The United States Postal Service; (4) A state or federal governmental department, agency, authority, or instrumentality and its authorized agents; (5) Any foreign bank that establishes a federal branch pursuant to the International Bank Act, 12 U.S.C. Section 3102; or (6) An individual employed by a licensee or any person exempted from the licensing requirements of this article when acting within the scope of employment and under the supervision of the licensee or exempted person as an employee and not as an independent contractor. 7-1-682

Registration Fees

Registration Fee – $1,150 $900 GA annual license fee $250 GA investigation fee

Bond and Insurance Requirements

(a) An applicant shall provide with its application a corporate surety bond issued by a bonding company or insurance company authorized to do business in this state and approved by the department. The bond for payment instrument sellers shall be in the principal sum of $250,000.00. The bond for money transmitters shall be in the principal sum of $100,000.00. (b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this Code section, the department may require an applicant or a licensee to provide additional coverage for the adequate protection of payment instrument holders if the average daily outstanding balances for payment instrument sellers exceed the current bond amount, the average daily outstanding orders to transmit not yet paid for money transmitters exceed the current bond amount, or the department determines that additional coverage is necessary in order to satisfy the department that the provisions of subsection (a) of Code Section 7-1-684 are fulfilled. A licensee’s level of outstandings shall be determined by the portion of the licensee’s financial reports dealing with transactions originating in Georgia which shall be submitted to the department as set forth in its rules and regulations. However, under no circumstances shall the additional bond coverage required by the department exceed $2,000,000.00. (c) The bond shall be in a form satisfactory to the department and shall run to the State of Georgia for the benefit of the department or any payment instrument holders against the licensee or its agents. The condition of the bond shall require the licensee to pay any and all moneys for the benefit of any person damaged by noncompliance of a licensee or its agent with this article, with the rules and regulations enacted pursuant to this article, or with any condition of the bond or to pay any and all moneys that may become due and owing any creditor of or claimant against the licensee arising out of the licensee’s sale of payment instruments or money transmission in this state, whether through its own acts or the acts of an agent. Damage payments due under the bond include moneys owed to the department for fees, fines, or penalties. In no event shall the aggregate liability of the surety exceed the principal sum of the face amount of the bond. Claimants against the licensee may bring an action directly on the surety bond. 7-1-683.2

Capital Requirements

(a) The department shall conduct an investigation of every applicant for licensure to determine the financial responsibility, experience, character, and general fitness of such applicant. The department may issue the applicant a license to transmit money or sell payment instruments if the department determines to its general satisfaction that: (1) The applicant is financially sound and responsible and able to transmit money or sell payment instruments in an honest, fair, and efficient manner and with the confidence and trust of the community; and (2) All conditions for licensure set forth in this article or the rules and regulations of the department have been satisfied. 7-1-684

Money Transmission License Required for Crypto Exchange?

Yes

State Comments or Statements

http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20152016/162422.pdf