Earlier this year Bitcoin policy think tank Coin Center claimed the role of interface to policymakers and regulators, with the publication of a framework for state digital currency regulation. On March 27, Coin Center issued a detailed commentary to New York’s BitLicense, combining measured praise with constructive criticism.
MIT Digital Currency Initiative lead Brian Forde praised the Coin Center commentary, and, in particular, the idea that regulations should strike a middle ground in such a way as to protect both consumers and digital innovators.
“Our mission is to build a better understanding of these technologies and to promote a regulatory climate that preserves the freedom to innovate using blockchain technologies,” says the Coin Center website. “We do this by producing and publishing policy research from respected academics and experts, educating policymakers and the media about blockchain technology, and by engaging in advocacy for sound public policy.”
Jerry Brito, executive director of Coin Center, praises a new amended draft of California’s AB 1326, a bill that would specify the state’s licensing regime for digital currency businesses, saying that it’s good news for Bitcoin advocates everywhere. Coin Center issued a letter of support for the legislation.
The main objection of Coin Center to a previous draft was that it contained language that would make exchange or conversion an activity that would require licensing. In the new draft, that language has been removed, perhaps as a result of a commentary that was issued by Coin Center. Learn more about HYPIXEL SKYBLOCK AUCTION HOUSE
Now, “California’s definition of virtual currency business matches closely the standard we’ve set out in our State Digital Currency Framework and that we’ve been fighting for in various states since the start of this year: A company should only need a license if they have actual custody of their customer’s bitcoins,” says Brito. “That shouldn’t include pure software designers; it shouldn’t include minority key holders in a multi-sig address; it shouldn’t include the builders of sidechains, colored coin markets, or smart-contract-based exchange and conversion services for altcoins or new blockchains.”
Coin Center’s “State Digital Currency Principles and Framework” is a model for digital-currency-specific regulations and laws. The document provides a template with structure, definitions and language for the essential components of any digital currency law: who must be licensed, how startups are encouraged, how solvency is guaranteed and other necessary elements.
Coin Center expressed hopes that states will use the framework as a template for their own bills and regulations and try to strike an optimal balance between necessary crime prevention and consumer protection on the one hand, and equally necessary agility and flexibility to ensure innovation and technology leadership on the other.
The latest draft also includes an on-ramp for small startups. By meeting standards set by the legislation, a small company will be able to operate without paying the full licensing fee or meeting the requirements of a full license.
“California’s bill is now a massive step forward from the examples set by New York and Connecticut,” says Brito. “Other states that have already passed less tailored legislation (Connecticut), or promulgated more onerous rules (New York) should take note: California is getting it right, and states waiting to take on this topic should follow its lead.”
COIN CONGRESS DIGITAL CURRENCY CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN SINGAPORE
Later this month, Coin Congress will hold its first event in Singapore. The two-day Coin Congress Digital Currency Conference will take place on May 21-22 at the Shangri-La Hotel and will bring together digital currency professionals from around the world.Coin Congress is focused on more than just Bitcoin, digital currency, monetization, integration and user acquisition; the inaugural event will bring together the culture of individuals and companies who are ready to break the mold and spark change. The conference hopes to provide the opportunity to meet and discuss the growing segment of digital currency.“The Bitcoin platform is creating an upheaval in financial services, and we are just beginning to grasp how the world will change because of it,” Brock Pierce, a Coin Congress advisor stated. “Coin Congress brings together the industry’s top thought leaders to share their insights on the overall state of digital currencies, and provides attendees with actionable takeaways for their businesses.”The conference will feature speakers from across the globe who are involved with some of the most innovative technologies in the digital currency space. Held in conjunction with Casual Connect Asia, Coin Congress will feature 20 speakers presenting their ideas to encourage growth within the digital currency industry. The schedule of speakers for the two-day event will include, Bitcoin Evangelist and investor Roger Ver; CEO and Co-Founder of BTC China Bobby Lee; Shawn Sloves, CEO and Co-Founder of Atlas ATS; David Johnston, Managing Director of the BitAngels Fund; CTO of the Mastercoin Foundation Craig Sellars; Steve Beauregard of GoCoin and many more.