The state’s small but active bitcoin community has been rattled by a cryptocurrency firm’s decision to leave New Hampshire because it doesn’t like the state’s regulations, raising the thorny question of how government can protect consumers drawn to an industry designed to sidestep government.
“I don’t want to be protected by the state. I don’t want what comes along with that,” said Will Anderson of Concord, a self-described bitcoin enthusiast who was among a half-dozen people testifying Wednesday in front of the nation’s only legislative committee on regulations for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
That same viewpoint was expressed by several other speakers, many associated with libertarian groups or movements, including a half-dozen people who came from the Keene area.
The crowd was unusually large for the technical session of a standing committee pondering an obscure topic with no proposed legislation to debate. It came together because of a decision of Poloniex, a Washington, D.C.-based bitcoin exchange, to shut all in-state accounts as of Oct. 6 “due to changes in New Hampshire’s regulatory statute as it applies to cryptocurrency.”
Poloniex Chief Experience Officer Michael Demopoulos told the Committee to Study Cryptocurrency Regulation on Wednesday that his firm was in discussion with the New