N.Y. seeks comments on bitcoin regulatory framework


The New York State Department of Financial Services said on Thursday it seeks public comments on its proposed plan to regulate firms that deal with bitcoins and other Internet currencies in a bid to protect consumers and ward off money laundering schemes.

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After a 45-day public comment period, the proposed rules face additional review and possible changes on the feedback before the state regulator finalizes them.

"We recognize that - as the first state to put forward specially tailored rules for virtual currency firms - continued public feedback will be an important part of finalizing this regulatory framework," the state's Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky said in a statement.

The department's "BitLicenses" will be required for firms engaged in the following virtual currency businesses:

1. Receiving or transmitting virtual currency on behalf of consumers;

2. Securing, storing, or maintaining custody or control of such virtual currency on the behalf of customers;

3. Performing retail conversion services, including the conversion or exchange of fiat currency or other value into virtual currency, the conversion or exchange of virtual currency into fiat currency or other value, or the conversion or exchange of one form of virtual currency into another form of virtual currency;

4. Buying and selling virtual currency as a customer business (as distinct from personal use); or

5. Controlling, administering, or issuing a virtual currency.

For more on the 40-page proposal, see http://www.dfs.ny.gov/about/press2014/pr1407171-vc.pdf

(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)