North Carolina Shrugs as Lawmakers Define Bitcoin

New cryptocurrency legislation was passed into law North Carolina by Governor Pat McCrory. Signed on July 6, the “Money Transmitters Act” defines virtual currencies as permissible investments, electronic and digital mediums, and digital records.

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North Carolina Opts for Regulation

UnknownThis law gives definition and representation to virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, in the state of North Carolina. The legislation has seemingly pleased some members of the cryptocurrency community, such as the Chamber of Digital Commerce. The blockchain advocacy group, known for being friendly with U.S. bureaucrats, says that miners, software providers, and a few other types of virtual transaction facilitators will not be needing a license.

One excerpt from the bill describing virtual currencies states:    

A digital representation of value that can be digitally traded and functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, or a store of value but only to the extent defined as stored value under G.S. 53-208.42(19), but does not have legal tender status as recognized by the United States Government.

Mixed Reactions

Local media outlets also felt the law deserved praise and the Chamber of Digital Commerce said they worked with government officials for “16 months of deliberations between the North Carolina Commissioner of Banks, and the General Assembly.”

However, not all cryptocurrency advocates thought the bill was so great. Jerry Brito from Coin Center another advocacy group that calls itself “the voice for Bitcoin and blockchain policy” had a few criticisms towards the soon to be law back in June. Brito explained in the blog section at Coin Center stating:

Whether you must be licensed turns on whether you ‘maintain control’ of virtual currency, but unfortunately what ‘control’ means is not defined in the North Carolina bill.—We urge North Carolina to consider the work of the ULC, which in its draft act has included clear exemptions for mining, third-party storage services, and an exemption for companies who hold a de minimis amount of consumer funds that serves as a start-up on-ramp. For a bill to be truly friendly to cryptocurrency it must contemplate a broad range of applications.

Brito wasn’t too hard on the bill, however, saying that “We appreciate that states, like North Carolina, are working to address the legal and regulatory issues raised.” It will be interesting to see how all of these laws work together from state to state as they are all so different.

Not Clear Enough?

shrThe differences are vast when comparing the New York state BitLicense created by Ben Lawsky, to North Carolina’s new ‘friendly’ law, and California’s Bill AB -1326 as well. The North Carolina Money Transmitters Act, has basically been lauded for giving “definition” to assets such as Bitcoin. Yet it doesn’t explain anything thereafter such as licensure regulations, application fees associated with licenses, and the usual extensive inquiries into a cryptocurrency facilitator applicant’s background.

As many have observed in the past lawmakers are still unsure what to do with Bitcoin and decentralized technology. Interestingly enough, it’s much like the cannabis industry at the moment with people selling legal cannabis, but have a hard time with the cash because it’s illegal on the federal level. As stated in the new NC law, the tender is not recognized by the U.S. government. In result, some advocacy groups have lauded this new legislation while others remain on the fence.

The Chamber of Digital Commerce points out that they’re working to get other regions onboard with similar measures. However, many users see the mix of Bitcoin and regulations similar to oil and water. Yet some believe this stamp of approval from lawmakers is needed to legitimize Bitcoin as a recognized medium of exchange.

What do you think will happen with these new laws and definitions states like North Carolina have created towards virtual currency transmission? Let us know in the comments below. 

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