Benjamin M. Lawsky is a name Bitcoiners know well. He is the architect of New York’s forthcoming BitLicense regulations, which will define how Bitcoin is used and regulated in the Empire State. Given that Wall Street is located in New York City, this regulation will have serious impact on the future of Bitcoin and the state.
One thing he stressed that will interest both regulators and residents of other states is that the regulation could be influenced by the way that other states do their own regulation. Understanding the global nature of Bitcoin, Lawsky believes that there needs to be consistency in how it is regulated across borders. Thus he said yesterday that his office is open to making changes to their regulations so as to be in line with other states and nations.
We’re going to see how this all shakes out. I think there’s room for federalism, but at the same time if you have a whole series of different rules and it becomes a crazy quilt patchwork, that can get hard to comply with. We’ll have to see what other states do and other countries do, and if things don’t make sense we will take the next step.
The current draft, which could very well be the final version, was the product of a great interaction between Lawsky’s Department of Financial Services, receiving more than 7,000 comments from the public over the course of its development. Lawsky has been openly fair to Bitcoin business, believing that over-regulation can scare away entrepreneurs in an already challenging sector.
The current draft of the proposed BitLicense will provide a chance for smaller outfits who are unable to meet stringent standards imposed by the DFS a two-year grace period. Particularly favorable to Bitcoin businesses is the recent change which eliminates the mandate for firms to know all names and addresses of all parties in a cryptocurrency or virtual currency transfer.