Maine Cryptocurrency Laws

Relevant Statute

Maine Revised Statutes, Title 32: Professions and Occupations, Chapter 80: Money Transmitters and Check Cashers, Subchapter 1: Money Transmitters; “Money Transmitters Act” 32 MRSA 6101

“Money Transmitter” Definition

“Money transmission” means the business of selling or issuing payment instruments or the business of receiving money for transmission or transmitting money within the United States or to locations abroad by any means, including, but not limited to, payment instrument, wire, facsimile or electronic transfer.
6102

Additional Definitions

“Payment instrument” means a check, draft, money order, travelers check or other instrument or written order for the transmission or payment of money, sold or issued to one or more persons, whether or not the instrument is negotiable. The term does not include a credit card voucher, a letter of credit or any instrument that is redeemable by the issuer in goods or services.
6102

Exemptions

1. Exemptions. This subchapter does 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 subdivisions of the State;
D. Supervised financial organizations as defined in Title 9-A, section 1-301, subsection 38-A as long as they do not engage in the business of issuing or selling payment instruments through authorized delegates who are not supervised financial organizations as defined in Title 9-A, section 1-301, subsection 38-A; and
E. The provision of electronic transfer of government benefits for any federal, state or county governmental agency as defined in Federal Reserve Board Regulation E, by a contractor for and on behalf of the United States or any department, agency or instrumentality of the United States, or any state or any political subdivisions of a state.
6104

Registration Fees

$500 Application Fee
$50 Registration fee for each authorized delegate designated by licensee, up to maximum of $2,500

Bond and Insurance Requirements

Bond or other security device required. Each application must be accompanied by a surety bond, irrevocable letter of credit or other similar security device, referred to in this section as a “security device,” in the amount of $100,000. The security device must be in a form satisfactory to the administrator and must run to the administrator 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 the sale and issuance of payment instruments and transmission of money. In the case of a bond, the aggregate liability of the surety may not exceed the principal sum of the bond. Any claim against the bond or security device may be the subject of an administrative hearing and order pursuant to section 6121.
6107

Bond Alternatives and Additional Insurance Requirements

Deposit in lieu of security device. In lieu of a security device or of any portion of the principal of the security device, as required by this section, the licensee may deposit with the administrator, or with such banks in this State as the licensee may designate and the administrator may approve, cash, interest-bearing stocks and bonds, notes, debentures or other obligations of the United States or any agency or instrumentality of the United States, or guaranteed by the United States, or of this State, or of a city, county, town, village, 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 of the security device. The securities or cash must be deposited as and held to secure the same obligations as would the security device, but the depositor is entitled to receive all interest and dividends on the security device, has the right, with the approval of the administrator, to substitute other securities for those deposited, and is required to do so on written order of the administrator made for good cause shown.
6107

Capital Requirements

A licensee under this subchapter must have at all times a net worth of not less than $100,000, calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Licensees engaging in money transmission at more than one location or through authorized delegates must have an additional net worth of $50,000 per location or agent located in the State, up to a maximum of $500,000.
6105

Money Transmission License Required for Crypto Exchange?

Yes (Likely)

State Comments or Statements

The state does not define money and the term payment instrument is overly broad and could encompass virtual currencies. Until such time as the state takes a stance, we will have to assume that a license is required.