Bitcoin regulation and legislation will remain a hot topic for many years to come, as various governments around the world are trying to figure out the best approach to this matter. In the United States, however, several regulatory actions are under way already, and a Bitcoin Bill for the state of North Carolina has come one step closer to completion.
The North Carolina Bitcoin Bill
In May of 2015, the Bitcoin Bill was passed in the North Carolina House of Representatives. Ever since that date, it was a matter of time before the Senate Commerce Committee either gave its approval or rejected the proposal. Late last night, news broke that the bill has received a stamp of approval, bringing the world one step closer to regulatory and legislative action against digital currency in North Carolina.
Similar to how Bitcoin is being treated in other US states- most notably in New York with its BitLicense – the North Carolina Money Transmitter Act will need to undergo some changes. This Bitcoin Bill aims to bring that proposed change to the table, in the form of an addendum that covers “any activity involving a personal, family or household purpose.”
It goes without saying that overseeing a sector such as digital currency will not be an easy task, nor was it ever intended to be. Bitcoin is all about decentralizing the technological and monetary aspects of our lives, and there is no room for a central authority to oversee it all. In turn, this leads to fractional regulation and legislation, even though there will be a noticeable trend in most parts of the world.
Assuming the North Carolina Bitcoin Bill would come to pass and be signed by Governor Pat McRory, the bill would mandate a minimum net worth requirement of US$250,000 for applicants. Additionally, companies would have to put up an additional bond – valued at US$150,000 – which may very well change in value as more time elapses.
Even More Expensive Than New York’s BitLicense
When the New York BitLicense’s final version was released a few months ago, many people voiced their concern over the application cost. In the state of New York, any company applying for a BitLicense will need to pay a non-refundable deposit of US$5,000, which does not guarantee their application will be approved.
Government officials in North Carolina are taking things to a new and steep level, by asking companies to put up a massive bond of US$150,000. Granted, this amount seems to be refundable for the time being, but it is still a hefty sum of money to put up for a piece of paper that has been “invented” by regulators.
It will be interesting to see whether or not the North Carolina Bitcoin Bill passes, and what the reaction by the Bitcoin community will be. It goes without saying that, in its current form, there will likely be a lot of opposition from industry experts. And who knows, maybe more and more companies will withdraw their services from North Carolina over time, similar to how some major companies are no longer offering Bitcoins services in New York either.
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