Idaho Cryptocurrency Laws

Relevant Statute

Idaho Money Transmitters Act; Chapter 29, Title 26, Idaho Code

“Money Transmitter” Definition

“Money transmission” means the sale or issuance of payment instruments or engaging in the business of receiving money for transmission or the business of transmitting money 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.

Additional Definitions

“Payment instrument” means any check, draft, money order, traveler’s check or other instrument or written order for the transmission or payment of money, sold or issued to one (1) or more persons, whether or not such instrument is negotiable. The term “payment instrument” does not include any credit card voucher, any letter of credit or any instrument which is redeemable by the issuer in goods or services.


(1) This chapter shall not apply to:
(a) The United States or any department, agency or instrumentality of the United States;
(b) The United States post office;
(c) The state or any political subdivision ofthe state; and
(d) Banks, credit unions, savings and loan associations, savings banks or mutual banks organized under the laws of any state or the United States, provided that they do not issue or sell payment instruments through authorized delegates who are not banks, credit unions, savings and loan associations, savings banks or mutual banks; and (2) Authorized representatives of a licensee, acting within the scope of authority conferred by a written contract conforming to the requirements of section 26-2918, Idaho Code, shall not be required to obtain a license pursuant to this chapter.

Registration Fees

$100 Application Fee

Bond and Insurance Requirements

(1) Each application must be accompanied by a surety bond, irrevocable letter of credit or such other similar security device, hereinafter referred to as security device, acceptable to the director in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000). If the applicant proposes to engage in business under the provisions of this chapter at more than one (1) location, through authorized representatives or otherwise, then the amount of the security device will be increased by five thousand dollars ($5,000) per location, up to a maximum of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000). The security device shall be in a form satisfactory to the director and shall run to the state for the benefit of any claimants against the licensee to secure the faithful performance of the obligations of the licensee with respect to the receipt, handling, transmission, and payment of money in connection with either the sale and issuance of payment instruments and the transmission of money. In the case of a bond, the aggregate liability of the surety in no event shall exceed the principal sum of the bond. Claimants against the licensee or its authorized representatives may themselves bring suit directly on the security device or the director may bring suit on behalf of such claimants, either in one (1) action or in successive actions. Permissible investments required in section 26-2906, Idaho Code, may be pledged as collateral for the surety bond, irrevocable letter of credit, or similar security device required in this section.

Bond Alternatives and Additional Insurance Requirements

(2) In lieu of such security device or of any portion of the principal thereof, as required in this section, the licensee may deposit with the director, or with such banks in this state as the licensee may designate and the director may approve, cash, interest-bearing stocks and bonds, notes, debentures, or other obligations of the United States or any agency or instrumentality thereof, or guaranteed by the United States, or of this state, or of a city, county, town, school district or instrumentality of this state, or guaranteed by this state, to an aggregate amount, based upon principal amount or market value, whichever is lower, of not less than the amount of the security device or portion thereof. The securities or cash, or both, shall be deposited as aforesaid and held to secure the same obligations as would the security device, but the depositor shall be entitled to receive all interest and dividends thereon, shall have the right, with the approval of the director, to substitute other securities for those deposited, and shall be required to do so on written order of the director made for good cause shown.

Capital Requirements

(1) Each licensee licensed under the provisions of this chapter shall at all times have a net worth of not less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Licensees engaging in money transmission at more than one (1) location or through authorized representatives shall have an additional net worth of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) per location or authorized representative located in the state, as applicable, to a maximum of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000).

Each licensee licensed under the provisions of this chapter must at all times possess permissible investments having an aggregate market value, calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, of not less than the aggregate face amount of all outstanding payment instruments issued or sold by the licensee in the United States. This requirement may be waived by the director if the dollar volume of a licensee’s outstanding payment instruments does not exceed the bond or other security devices posted by the licensee pursuant to section 26-2908, Idaho Code. 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 the purchasers and holders of the licensee’s outstanding payment instruments in the event of the bankruptcy of the licensee, and shall be immune from attachment by creditors or judgment holders.

State Comments or Statements

“An exchanger that sells its own inventory of virtual currency is not considered a virtual currency transmitter. Alternatively, an exchanger that holds customer funds while arranging a satisfactory buy/sell order with a third party, and transmits virtual currency and fiat currency between buyer and seller, will typically be considered a virtual currency transmitter.”

Virtual Currency Exchangers. If you act as a virtual/digital currency exchanger and accept legal tender (e.g., government backed/issued “fiat” currencies) for later delivery to a third party in association with the purchase of a virtual currency, then you must be licensed as a money transmitter with the Department of Finance.