New York’s finance regulator plans on regulating Bitcoin in 2014.
Over the past 2 days, New York officials convened to discuss the matter of Bitcoin. The meetings held examined the notion of creating a “Bitlicense” for companies dealing in the virtual currency within the state.
“Serious people – in the technological and investment community – are taking virtual currencies seriously. They are putting significant amounts of time, attention, and capital behind them. We, as a regulator, cannot turn a blind eye to something like that. We don’t really have a choice,” said Benjamin Lawsky, the state’s superintendent of financial services.
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The hearings come shortly after the US Department of Justice pressed charges against head of a digital currency exchange BitInstant Charlie Shrem, for money laundering.
“Money laundering is something we are very serious about. Federal prosecutors are clearly very serious about it, and we will have to keep working on that angle as well,” Lawsky mentioned in an an interview after the first day of the hearings.
Lawsky also mentioned Bitcoin is at a “tipping point” as it is moving from the hands of certain individuals who were drawn to the cryptocurrency for its illicit nature, into the hands of those who see its potential. According to Lawsky, the department of financial services is determined New York will be the first US state to regulate companies dealing in Bitcoin. Currently most states require companies to register as money transmitters if they offer financial services in the cryptocurrency.
Latley Bitcoin is being accepted by a number of US firms such as Adult websites, Overstock.com, Zynga, and TigerDirect. Regulating the virtual currency could result in more firms deciding to support Bitcoin in exchange for services and goods.
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