Louisiana Cryptocurrency Laws
Louisiana Laws, Revised Statutes Title 6 Chapter 13 – The Sale of Checks nad Money Transmission Act;
“Money” or “monetary value” means currency or a claim that can be converted into currency through a financial institution, electronic payments network, or other formal or informal payment system.
“Money Transmitter” Definition
“Money transmission” means to engage in the business of the sale or issuance of payment instruments or of receiving money or monetary value for transmission to a location within or outside the United States by any and all means, including but not limited to wire, facsimile, or electronic transfer. The term includes:
(a) Selling or issuing stored value or payment instruments including checks, money orders, and traveler’s checks.
(b) Receiving money or monetary value for transmission including by payment instrument, wire, facsimile, electronic transfer, or Automated Clearing House (ACH) debit.
(c) Providing third-party bill paying services.
“Currency” means the coin and paper money of the United States or another country that is designated as legal tender and circulates and is customarily used and accepted as a medium of exchange in the country of issuance.
“Payment instrument” means any electronic or written check, draft, money order, traveler’s check, or other electronic or written instrument or order for the transmission or payment of money or monetary value, sold or issued to one 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 of goods or services.
The following persons shall not be required to be licensed under this Chapter:
(1) The United States or an instrumentality of the United States government, including the United States Postal Service or a contractor acting on behalf of the United States Postal Service.
(2) A state or an agency, political subdivision, or other instrumentality of a state.
(3) A federally insured depository financial institution that is organized under the laws of this state, another state, or the United States.
(4) A wholly owned subsidiary of a federally insured depository institution that is organized under the laws of this state, another state, or the United States.
(5) A foreign bank branch or agency in the United States established under the federal International Banking Act of 1978, 12 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.
(6) A person acting as an agent for an entity excluded under Paragraphs (3) and (4) of this Section, to the extent of the person’s actions in that capacity provided that: (a) The entity is liable for satisfying the money services obligation owed to the purchaser on the person’s receipt of the purchaser’s money. (b) The entity and person enter into a written contract that appoints the person as the entity’s agent and the person acts only within the scope of authority conferred by the contract.
(7) A person that, on behalf of the United States or a department, agency or instrumentality of the United States, or a state, parish, city, or any other governmental agency or political subdivision of this state, provides electronic funds transfer services of governmental benefits for a federal, state, parish, or local governmental agency.
(8) A person that acts as an intermediary on behalf of and at the discretion of a licensee in the process by which the licensee, after receiving money or monetary value from a purchaser, either directly or through an agent, transmits the money or monetary value to the purchaser’s designated recipient, provided that the licensee is liable for satisfying the obligation owed to the purchaser.
(9) An attorney or title company that in connection with an immovable property transaction receives and disburses domestic currency or issues an escrow or trust fund check only on behalf of a party to the transaction.
(10) A person engaged in the business of currency transportation who is both a registered motor carrier and a licensed armored car company or courier company, provided that the person does not engage in the money transmission business without a license under this Chapter.
(11) A licensed lender using stored value cards or debit cards or electronic cash for loan disbursement under the Louisiana Consumer Credit Law.
(12) Any other person approved by the commissioner on a finding that the licensing of the person is not necessary to achieve the purposes of this Chapter.
$800 Application Fee
Bond and Insurance Requirements
If application is made for a new license, the applicant shall submit a business plan which includes, at a minimum, anticipated volume for the calendar year, as well as the anticipated number of transmission or selling locations. The commissioner shall determine the required bond for each new licensee, based on the information provided by the applicant; however, in no event shall the bond be less than twenty-five thousand dollars.
Bond can be up to a maximum of $500,000.
To qualify for a new license to transmit money or sell checks or for renewal of a previously issued license, an applicant shall also have a net worth of at least one hundred thousand dollars, computed according to generally accepted accounting principles.
State Comments or Statements
Louisiana released guidance saying that any company that “offers to exchange, administer, or maintain virtual currencies may be subject to state regulation and licensing as well as federal regulation.” An exchanger is “a person engaged as a business in the exchange of virtual currency for real currency, funds, or other virtual currency.”