Vermont Includes Digital Currencies in New Money Transmitter Law

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Vermont has passed a new bill into law updating its money transmission regulation to include that of digital currencies.

The bill, HB 182, was first proposed in February by democratic representative William Botzow and five other sponsors and was signed into law May 4. Its addition to the state’s money transmission law includes a definition for ‘virtual currency.’

According to the bill, it states:

Virtual currency is stored value that: (A) can be a medium of exchange, a unit of account, or a store of value; (B) has an equivalent value in money or acts as a substitute for money; (C) may be centralized or decentralized; and (D) can be exchanged for money or other convertible virtual currency.

The new law indicates that digital currencies now count as a permissible investment; however, this is only to the ‘extent of outstanding transmission obligations received by the licensee in identical denomination of virtual currency.’

Surprising Move for Vermont?

Given the state’s past regarding digital currencies and the blockchain, some may consider the state’s move to include virtual currencies within its money transmitter regulation with surprise.

Even though the state received its first Bitcoin ATM in 2014, it subsequently lost the one it had the following year after receiving a letter from the Department of Financial Regulation in Vermont. It’s believed that the company who was running the ATM, Blu-Bin/PYC failed to receive a license or regulatory agreement from the state confirming its operation. Attempts to push Vermont within the Bitcoin rush have subsequently failed at any long-term measures.

Unlike neighboring New Hampshire, which is consider very Bitcoin-friendly, Vermont is considered at the opposite end of that scale. So much so, that a bill in New Hampshire, which would deregulate digital currency transactions such as Bitcoin from money transmitter regulations in the state, was sent to the New Hampshire Senate for consideration.

Vermont appears a long way from such a move, which would help boost the state pushing it from zero to hero with the adoption of Bitcoin.

Vermont’s measure does, however, put it among the likes of New York and North Carolina, which have updated their existing rules to include those of digital currencies.

It remains to be seen whether Vermont will take the plunge and attempt to become a more Bitcoin-friendly state like New Hampshire in the future. However, until that moment arrives, the fact that Vermont is recognizing digital currencies in some form is a step toward advancement for the state.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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