Lawsky Eases up on BitLicense Rules, Hopes to Have Several Firms Licensed in New York by Early Next Year

Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent for the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), has proposed a more relaxed BitLicense in a

Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent for the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), has proposed a more relaxed BitLicense in a speech today.

The initial proposal attracted over 3,700 public comments, many of them critical. He commented:

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“Our initial proposal was meant as a beginning—not an end—to a healthy, vigorous public discussion about what the final regulation should look like.”

The revised proposal includes the following changes:

– Software developers, miners, retailers and investors will not require a license.

– Start-ups will have two years to become fully compliant, as part of a more lenient approach to help spur innovation – an idea first mentioned 6 weeks ago.

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– Companies will not have to record data on the identities of all parties to a transaction, except for its own customers.

– Record keeping is shortened from 10 to 7 years.

Said Lawsky:

“We believe that these proposed changes are sensible and help us strike an appropriate balance between permitting innovation to proceed, while at the same time strongly protecting consumers and helping root out illicit activity.”

The changes will be posted and a new 30-day comment period will be opened. Lawsky hopes that the proposal will be enacted in early 2015, with several firms in New York obtaining licensing shortly thereafter.

Commenting about the ease in guidelines, Jaron Lukasiewicz, CEO of New York-based Bitcoin exchange Coinsetter, stated

“Most bitcoin companies are breathing a small sigh of relief today from Lawsky’s remarks on the revised BitLicense regulations. It’s encouraging to see achievable goals become a centerpiece to this licensing regime.”

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