NYDFS Promises Bitcoin Foundation More Information on BitLicense

Calvin Tran @@clvnthbld
August 7, 2014 11:25 UTC

The New York Department of Financial Services promised to provide the Bitcoin Foundation with more information on draft ‘DFS-29-14-00015-P,’ “Regulation of the conduct of Virtual Currency Businesses,” or otherwise known as the BitLicense, after the Foundation had filed with the NYDFS yesterday with concerns and comments, in accordance to the New York Freedom of Information Law for “any risk management and cost-benefit analysis (or any other systematic assessment) that is a part of the ‘extensive research and analysis’.”


Jim Harper leads the Bitcoin Foundation’s Global Policy Counsel. He is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and wrote the letter to the NYDFS.
Ben Lawsky is the Superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services. He has made many attempts to engage the Bitcoin community in regards to regulation.

The letter, written by the Bitcoin Foundation’s Global Policy Counsel Jim Harper, addressed major concerns regarding the demands for an extension to the 45-day comment period which began on Wednesday, July 23 and a need to consider better ways to engage the Bitcoin and crypto-community in order to form a better proposal.

‘Given the prospects Bitcoin holds out for global financial inclusion, enhanced liberty and dignity, improved privacy protection, and stable money supplies, the Bitcoin community is very passionate about digital currency and keenly interested in the proposed regulation. Your engagement with the community so far is appreciated, and we are confident that continuing to engage  with the community by conducting a fully open, transparent, participatory, and collaborative rulemaking will help produce a credible and workable regulation for digital currency businesses located in New York or serving New York customers.’

The call for an extension was echoes that of prominent Bitcoin community figures as well as the Chamber of Digital Commerce. By law, 45-days is the bare minimum required of proposed drafts, and in the case of BitLicensing, the draft has the potential to pull in any establishment that conducts any action that falls under the draft’s definition of ‘Virtual Currency Business Activity’ within the borders of the State of New York. This creates a scope for an industry much bigger than can be accurately assessed within 45-days. The NYDFS has notified that they may extend the period. The Foundation also made a point to call for more engagement of the Bitcoin and Crypto-community.

Being sure to cite Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky’s apparent willingness to communicate with the Bitcoin community through Reddit, the Foundation offers serious concerns over being too hasty with this legislation.

The letter suggested that the NYDFS take on “an iterative process, in which you issue drafts, take comments for three months, re-draft, and take comments again until the many, many issues raised by the proposed regulation are thoroughly vetted in true collaboration with the community.”

In recent months, the Bitcoin Foundation has been under fire for the

Last week, the Bitcoin Foundation updated their site as part of a revamping of their organization. This move to rebrand as well as filing for more information may be signs of improvement within the Foundation.

‘The website launch and rebrand has been a multi-step process. It’s something we have been intentionally planning and preparing for when we realized how difficult the existing website was to make any changes because of how it was originally built — which predated anyone of the leadership team today.’ – Jinyoung Lee Englund; Director of Marketing and Communications at the Bitcoin Foundation

However, the Bitcoin and Crypto-community is still in jeopardy. The Bitcoin Foundation has not yet received this ‘promised additional’ information yet, as it has only been a few hours since the response, but the clock is ticking. The NYDFS has, by law, only 20 days to respond to the filing, but if they take the entire period, the material will be released only days before the end of the 45-day comment period.

The Bitcoin Foundation has stated that they will release the information publicly as soon as they receive it.

Featured image by Shutterstock.

Calvin Tran @@clvnthbld

Calvin Tran is a filmmaker attending NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. He is interested in economics as a way to see the world and inspires him to create media that illustrates the power of freedom and technology in improving all of our lives.