The full text of the Texas Department of Banking (DOB) memorandum, including introduction and analysis can be found here. The letter is from Charles G. Cooper, the Banking Commissioner and the formal subject of the memorandum is: Regulatory Treatment of Virtual Currencies Under the Texas Money Services Act. As is becoming increasingly clear in the United States, regulators are realizing that existing laws against money laundering and such crimes are more than all-encompassing enough to include Bitcoin. This memorandum clarifies which types of cryptocurrency transactions count as money transmission, and thus require a license.
In Texas, the definition of a money transmission business as it relates to cryptocurrencies is now crystal clear. FinCEN, please take note.
In fact, the Texas DOB has taken the time to lay down a very pro-cryptocurrency regulatory atmosphere in Texas. It is not foolish to expect other states to follow suit. California’s State Legislature is currently faced with legislature that would clarify the status of some centralized and decentralized virtual currencies within the state; however, action from their DOB would be preferable in the eyes of many.
I have included the full text of the Statement of Policy, with added emphasis:
Statement of Policy
Because cryptocurrency is not money under the Money Services Act, receiving it in exchange for
a promise to make it available at a later time or different location is not money transmission.
Consequently, absent the involvement of sovereign currency in a transaction, no money
transmission can occur. However, when a cryptocurrency transaction does include sovereign
currency, it may be money transmission depending on how the sovereign currency is handled. A
licensing analysis will be based on the handling of the sovereign currency.
To provide further guidance, the regulatory treatment of some common types of transactions
involving cryptocurrency can be determined as follows.
Texans Interested In Bitcoin?
If you are a Houstonian interested in learning more about Bitcoin. The Texas Coinitiative founded by members of the Houston Bitcoin Meetup Group are hosting an event at the University of Houston 4/3/14 at 7PM. This event will feature a fully functional bi-directional Robocoin Bitcoin ATM, courtesy of Texas’s own CoinVault ATM.
Here’s the event blurb!
Texas Coinitiative and UH ISACA are hosting an information session for students, professors, and professionals interested in Bitcoin.
Wondering what Bitcoin is? What new developments have happened in the Bitcoin world? Want to hear about new start-ups and regulations in the area? Have a friend you want to introduce to the cryptocurrency space? Come to our Houston Bitcoin Information Session to learn about the thriving new technology.
If you are interested in attending, please RSVP at the eventbrite link.
Last modified: April 20, 2014 18:34 UTC