Newly Released Virtual-Currency Businesses Act Augurs Increased State Regulation of Bitcoin, Ether, and other Digital and Crypto Currencies

By Jeremy M. McLaughlin

On October 9, 2017, the Uniform Law Commission released the final version of its Uniform Regulation of Virtual-Currency Businesses Act (“VCBA”). The Act repeatedly references both state money transmission laws and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network money services business regulations, noting that the VCBA is intended to provide protections and obligations that are generally similar to those legal regimes.

K&L Gates has issued an alert about the VCBA, which can be found here. As discussed in the alert, the VCBA strives for clarity in defining what activities would require a license.  At the same time, it offers a long list of exemptions and provides for licensing alternatives, such as a “registration” option, for certain entities.  The VCBA also contains numerous provisions that attempt to avoid duplicative licensing regimes and to encourage cooperation among the states.

Of course, no state has yet adopted the VCBA, but we expect some states will do so, even if partially. Thus, it’s important to understand how the Act could affect your business.

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