Bruce Fenton Does Not Want You to Engage on BitLicense

Posted in: Archive
July 20, 2014 7:12 PM UTC

Bruce Fenton, founder of Atlantic Financial Inc. and the Bitcoin Association, spoke this past weekend at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Chicago. The primary topic of his heated speech was that of Benjamin Lawsky and the proposed BitLicense in New York. While the topic has been on everyone’s tongue and has become quite the hot-button issue, Fenton has a different opinion on how people should take action. In fact, he doesn’t want people to engage at all.

Fenton, along with the majority of the Bitcoin community, is vehemently opposed to the BitLicense regulation. “They are essentially making technology illegal,” he said in his rant about the proposed regulation. He doesn’t believe we should be trying to work with them though, we should be ignoring them.

“The regulators are not our friends,” he said, “I don’t believe we should reach out to them. I don’t believe we should engage them.”

Fenton doesn’t trust Lawsky of the government a single bit. He and the Bitcoin Association wrote a letter to Lawsky, as well as collected 600 signatures. Unfortunately, Lawsky’s office simply responded with a copy-and-paste email from an intern. The response infuriated Fenton and fueled his speech at the conference.

“The arrogance to be un-elected and do these terrible things is really harmful,” he said. “I have no doubt in my mind that Lawsky plans to run for higher office. Let’s make life hard for him.”

On The Other Side

Some Bitcoin users don’t quite agree with Fenton. The BitLicense regulation has the power to put a lot of confidence in jeopardy with Bitcoin business if it gets passed. While some say that businesses could simply not do business in New York or simply ignore the law, others believe that if this is passed it could have a ripple effect across the country.

For those that don’t agree with Fenton, gravitation for support of the Chamber of Digital Commerce led by Perianne Boring has increased since its announcement. Not only do they plan on educating politicians on Capitol Hill, they also plan to be an expert resource for media regarding anything digital currency.

“I believe that the legislation that comes out of Washington will be echoed around the world,” Perianne said on day one of the conference.

The BitLicense regulation not only harms businesses, but it also harms miners and developers. Eleuthria, owners of BTC Guild mining pools, have a shutdown plan that they spoke to about in case BitLicense is passed. Satoshi Nakamoto would even be considered a criminal depending on one’s interpretation of the regulation. No doubt that this has a slew of other developers who have a public identity, such as Charlie Lee or Jackson Palmer, studying the law at least slightly.

It Goes Deeper

Fenton believes that this legislation goes far deeper than a simple regulation proposal. Out of jest, he offered to donate $100,000 to Sean’s Outpost if Lawsky and the government can prove “the arrest of Charlie Shrem wasn’t planned”.

He believes the Reddit AMA along with the television appearances is all an act; that he’s trying to win over the Bitcoin community. Fenton says he isn’t fooled and doesn’t believe anyone else should be either.

Featured image by Shutterstock.

Last modified: June 14, 2020 9:32 AM UTC

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Clay Michael Gillespie @thelivingaspect

Clay Gillespie a writer and reporter for many different platforms across the tech industry. He holds a B.S. in Public Relations from Ball State University, and freelances for different clients in technology and cryptocurrency. For more information, visit his personal website,