Oregon Cryptocurrency Laws

Relevant Statute

2017 Oregon Revised Statutes; Vol. 16 Financial Institutions, Insurance; Chapter 717 Money Transmission “Oregon Money Transmitters Act” 2017 ORS 717.200

“Money” Definition

“Money” means a medium of exchange that: (a) The United States or a foreign government authorizes or adopts; or (b) Represents value that substitutes for currency but that does not benefit from government regulation requiring acceptance of the medium of exchange as legal tender. 717.200

“Money Transmitter” Definition

“Money transmission” means selling or issuing payment instruments or engaging in the business of receiving money for transmission, or transmitting money within the United States or to locations abroad by any and all means, including but not limited to payment instrument, wire, facsimile or electronic transfer. 717.200

Additional Definitions

(a) “Payment instrument” means any electronic or written check, draft, money order, traveler’s check or other electronic or written instrument or order for transmitting or paying money, sold or issued to one or more persons, whether or not the instrument is negotiable. (b) “Payment instrument” does not include any credit card voucher, any letter of credit or any instrument that is redeemable by the issuer in goods or services. 717.200

Exemptions

(1) ORS 717.200 (Definitions) to 717.320 (Short title), 717.900 (Civil penalties) and 717.905 (Criminal penalties) do not apply to: (a) Any company that accepts deposits in this state and that is insured under the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, 12 U.S.C. 1811 et seq., as amended. (b) Credit unions or trust companies. (c) The United States Government or any department, agency or instrumentality thereof. (d) The United States Postal Service. (e) Any state or political subdivision of a state. (f) The provision or electronic transfer of government benefits for any federal, state or county government or other agency as defined in the Federal Reserve Board Regulation E (12 C.F.R. part 205), by a contractor for and on behalf of the United States Government or any department, agency or instrumentality of the United States, or any state or any political subdivision of a state. (g) The provision or handling of electronic or other transfer of escrowed moneys by an escrow agent licensed under ORS 696.511 (License requirement) to the extent that the escrow agent is: (A) Closing an escrow, as defined in ORS 696.505 (Definitions for ORS 696.505 to 696.590); (B) Engaging in activity related to a collection escrow, as defined in ORS 696.505 (Definitions for ORS 696.505 to 696.590); or (C) Serving as a trustee of a trust deed in accordance with ORS 86.713 (Qualifications of trustee). (h) Authorized delegates of a licensee, acting within the scope of authority conferred by a written contract as described in ORS 717.270 (Conduct of money transmission business through authorized delegates). (i) Any bank holding company as defined in the federal Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, 12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq., as amended, or any financial holding company as defined in ORS 706.008 (Additional definitions for Bank Act). (j) Any savings and loan holding company as defined in 12 U.S.C. 1467a (a)(1)(D), as amended. 717.210

Registration Fees

$1,000 Application Fee

Bond and Insurance Requirements

Each license application shall be accompanied by a security device in the amount of $25,000. If the applicant proposes to engage in business under ORS 717.200 (Definitions) to 717.320 (Short title), 717.900 (Civil penalties) and 717.905 (Criminal penalties) at more than one location through authorized delegates or otherwise, the amount of the security device shall increase by $5,000 per location, not to exceed a maximum of $150,000. The security device shall be in a form satisfactory to the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services and shall run to the State of Oregon 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 or transmission of money. The aggregate liability on any security device shall not exceed the principal sum of the security device. Claimants against the licensee may bring suit directly on the security device or the director may bring suit on behalf of such claimants, either in one action or in successive actions. 717.225

Bond Alternatives and Additional Insurance Requirements

In lieu of the requirements of subsection (1) of this section, a licensee may deposit with the director, or with insured institutions as defined in ORS 706.008 (Additional definitions for Bank Act) located in this state and designated by the licensee and approved by the director, securities in an aggregate amount, based upon principal amount or market value, whichever is lower, of not less than the amount of the security device applicable under subsection (1) of this section or portion thereof. The securities shall be held to secure the same obligations as would the security device. The depositor shall be entitled to receive all interest and dividends on the securities and may, with the approval of the director, substitute other securities for those deposited. The director, in writing, for good cause shown, may require the depositor to substitute other securities for those deposited. As used in this subsection, “securities” includes interest-bearing stocks and bonds, notes, debentures or other obligations of the United States Government or any agency or instrumentality of the United States Government, or guaranteed by the United States Government, or of this state, or of a city, county, district or instrumentality of this state, or guaranteed by this state. 717.225

Capital Requirements

Each licensee shall at all times have 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 shall have an additional net worth of $25,000 per location in this state, not to exceed a maximum of $500,000. Each licensee shall 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 of the Department of Consumer and Business Services if the dollar volume of a licensee’s outstanding payment instruments does not exceed the amount of any security device posted by the licensee under ORS 717.225 (Security devices). 717.215

Money Transmission License Required for Crypto Exchange?

No

State Comments or Statements

“The purpose of licensing is to ensure that consumers receive money services in a secure manner. Recently, the definition of “money” was defined in statute to cover the ever changing landscape of virtual currency, including Bitcoin.” https://apps.oregon.gov/SOS/LicenseDirectory/LicenseDetail/21