The day of reckoning has finally arrived, which will see whether New Hampshire’s state Senate will pass a bill that will deregulate digital currency transactions such as bitcoin from money transmitter regulations in the state.
The bill, HB 436, was sponsored by Rep. Barbara Biggie, co-sponsored by Rep. Keith Ammon and John Hunt, all of which were early adopters of the digital currency. Early last month, it passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 185-170.
In a further development of the bill’s movement, it recently passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee with a vote of 3-2, and is expected to be voted on by the full Senate today.
If passed, the bill would protect consumers when using digital currencies such as bitcoin instead of making them register with transmitter regulators. It would also mean that companies in the state of New Hampshire would be able to operate without following strict KYC and AML regulations.
New Hampshire is one of the states that is showing a keen interest in the world of digital currencies and is interested in adopting the currency, which can be seen by the fact that it’s known as a bitcoin-friendly state.
However, while the bill has received support during its progress, the banking commission is not supportive of the bill. The commission wants to know what currency exchanges are doing and how they are handling people’s digital currency transactions. Many are of the opinion, though, that without regulation, those who lose money to a bitcoin exchange will be out of luck as nothing can be done for them.
What the Bill Changes
Prior to the introduction of HB 436, digital currency exchange Poloniex was one exchange that had announced it would be suspending activity to its New Hampshire customers.
This was because of the state’s strict digital currency regulations and the fact that the state was attempting to introduce its own version of a New York BitLicense.
In order for Poloniex to function in New Hampshire, they were required to submit a $500 nonrefundable application fee for the license application. Each money transmitter applicant was then obligated to provide a constant surety bond of $100,000, while an applicant or licensee needed to maintain a net worth of less its daily average outstanding money transmissions for the previous calendar year or $1 million.
Of course, if HB 436 passes in the Senate, this regulation will be reversed, making it easier for exchanges to provide a service to their customers in the state.
Featured image of New Hampshire State House from Shutterstock.