Many Bitcoiners are excited today about revelations of North Carolina treating Bitcoin as “monetary value”, which sounds pretty close to calling it currency.
North Carolina has 2 of the 10 fastest growing counties in the country, and as such, financial decisions pertaining to budding technologies made now will have an important impact in the near future.
North Carolina is in the spotlight today for another reason: President Obama is paying a visit, delivering remarks at the American Legion’s 96th National Convention in Charlotte.
Despite all the excitement, a cursory look at the comments made by a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Commission of Banks (NCCOB) shows that their approach to regulation barely differs from that currently ongoing in New York, which has been criticized heavily.
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The context for referring to Bitcoin as “monetary value” is as follows: “Virtual currency regulation is already within the scope of the NC Money Transmitters Act. Our goal in promulgating administrative regulations is to clarify our regulatory position with respect to virtual currencies.” She added that virtual currency would simply fall under the category of monetary value stated within the act. This is the approach taken by FinCEN in its March 18 guidance.
There was also excitement generated by the indication that no BitLicense will be required. This is because virtual currency transmission will fall under existing money services laws, which effectively levy similar requirements. There is some room for further legislation down the road.
In addition, one of the three major grievances on the BitLicense proposal in a letter penned by the heads of China’s three major Bitcoin exchanges would apply here as well. The spokeswoman stated:
“The NC Money Transmitters Act applies to companies that that make their services available to North Carolina residents via the internet, even though the company does not have a physical location in this state.”
Recall that in the letter, it was argued that even one New York-based customer would place such a business, even if based elsewhere, under the jurisdiction of New York’s virtual currency laws.