New Jersey Introduces Digital Asset and Blockchain Technology Act

The new Senate bill proposes regulation of crypto service providers under the department of banking and insurance.

New Jersey has moved closer to the implementation of a state-level regulatory framework for firms involved in cryptocurrency services. The new Senate bill was introduced on Thursday and has been sponsored by Nellie Pou, a Democratic Party senator serving New Jersey’s 35th Legislative District.

Named as the ‘Digital Asset and Blockchain Technology Act’, the new bill requires licensing of all the businesses involved in digital asset services. Unlicensed operations of businesses in New Jersey would be liable to pay a $500 per day penalty until an application for a license is filed.

The newly presented Senate bill (3132) proposes to regulate cryptocurrency service providers under the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. Earlier in February 2020, assemblywoman, Yvonne Lopez introduced the same legislation to the state’s General Assembly with bill number A2891.

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According to the official statement mentioned in the introduced bill, “The bill provides that a person may not engage in a digital asset business activity, or hold itself out as being able to engage in a digital asset business activity, with or on behalf of a resident unless the person is licensed in this State by the Department of Banking and Insurance, or has filed a pending license with the department, or licensed in another state to conduct digital asset business activity by a state with which this state has a reciprocity agreement.”

Following New York

The recent bill shows that New Jersey is moving one step forward to embracing a similar regulatory structure implemented by neighboring New York, known as BitLicense. The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) designed a licensing framework for businesses involved in digital currencies. BitLicense came into effect in 2015, and now several crypto firms are regulated under the framework. The presence of a newly introduced bill by New Jersey in both houses appears to be a strong indication that crypto licensing is being taken seriously at all levels.

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