Massachusetts Cryptocurrency Laws

Relevant Statute

209 CMR 45.00

“Money Transmitter” Definition

Foreign Transmittal Agency means a person who engages or is financially interested in the business of receiving deposits of money for the purpose of transmitting the same or equivalents thereof to foreign countries.

Licensee means any person who is licensed as a: check seller under M.G.L. c. 167F, § 4; foreign transmittal agency under M.G.L. c. 169; or a check casher under M.G.L. c. 169A. 45.02

Exemptions

Section 1. This chapter shall apply to all persons who engage or are financially interested in the business of receiving deposits of money for the purpose of transmitting the same or equivalents thereof to foreign countries, except banks chartered by the commonwealth, banks chartered by the federal government or another state of the United States and authorized to do banking business in the commonwealth, persons doing business under sections thirty-eight to forty-three, inclusive, of chapter one hundred and sixty-seven, express companies having contracts with transportation companies for the operation of an express service upon the lines of such companies or express companies doing an international express business or global transportation companies or telegraph companies.
MGL 169-1

Registration Fees

$1,000 per license + $300 investigation fee per license

Bond and Insurance Requirements

1. Each applicant for a foreign transmittal agency license shall execute and deliver a bond in such amounts as determined by the Commissioner under M.G.L. c. 169, § 2. Such bond shall be examined and approved by the Commissioner in accordance with M.G.L. c. 169, § 3 prior to the issuance of any license to engage in the business of a foreign transmittal agency. 45.03

Section 2. Every person subject to section one, before engaging or becoming financially interested or continuing to engage or be financially interested in the business of receiving deposits of money for the purpose of transmitting the same or equivalents thereof to foreign countries, shall make, execute and deliver to the state treasurer a bond in a sum equal to twice the average weekly amount of money or equivalents thereof transmitted to foreign countries by such person, as determined by the commissioner of banks, hereinafter called the commissioner, but in no event shall the sum of the bond be less than fifty thousand dollars; provided, however, that a person carrying on business at more than one location need post only one such bond which shall be in the sum of fifty thousand dollars or twice the average total weekly amount of money or equivalents thereof transmitted to foreign countries from all locations, whichever is greater; and, provided further, that the sum of such bond shall be increased on order of the commissioner at any time to such amount as shall be shown by examination to be necessary. Such bond shall be conditioned upon the faithful holding and transmission of any money or equivalents thereof which shall have been delivered to such person for transmission to a foreign country and, in the event of the insolvency or bankruptcy of the principal, upon the payment of the full amount of such bond to the assignee, receiver or trustee of the principal, as the case may require, for the benefit of such persons as shall have delivered money or equivalents thereof to said principal for the purpose of transmitting the same to a foreign country.
MGL 169 – 2

Bond Alternatives and Additional Insurance Requirements

In lieu of the aforesaid surety, the person may deposit and the state treasurer shall accept as security for the fulfillment of the provisions of the bond, money, bonds of the United States, of the commonwealth or of any municipality thereof or, if approved by the commissioner, other bonds, certificates of deposit issued by a savings bank, cooperative bank, credit union, trust company, federal savings bank, federal savings and loan association, federal credit union or national bank, or savings accounts in such institutions. The money or securities so deposited shall be held upon the conditions specified in the bond. If securities be deposited in lieu of an approved surety and be accepted, the state treasurer shall require the depositor to maintain such deposit at a value equal to the amount fixed as the penalty of the bond and he may, in his discretion, permit the substitution of securities for money, or of money for securities, in whole or in part, or of money or securities for an approved surety, or of a bond for money or securities deposited or the withdrawal of securities deposited and the substitution of others of equal value in their place and, if the total value of the securities becomes substantially impaired, he shall require the deposit of money or additional securities sufficient to cover the impairment in value.
MGL 169-3

Money Transmission License Required for Crypto Exchange?

No

State Comments or Statements

Massachusetts released a selected opinion in June, 2018 which stated that Massachusetts does not presently have a domestic money transmission statute, and that a crypto exchange did not need to be licensed as a foreign transmittal agency:

https://www.mass.gov/decision/selected-opinion-18-003