In July, incremental progress was made on the path to digital currency regulation in the United States via amendments to existing proposals. Around the globe, governments continued to express interest in learning more about digital currencies in order to determine how they might be best regulated.
A bill in the state’s senate that would amend the Money Transmitter’s Act to include digital currencies is gaining traction. The bill requires applicants for a money transmitter license to have at least $250,000 in net worth and for businesses to provide a $150,000 surety bond.
In order for the bill to become law it still needs approval in the senate and a signature from North Carolina’s governor.
A bill requiring digital currency companies to be regulated in a manner similar to banks, which includes obtaining a renewable license from the Department of Business Oversight, has been amended to help small, and startup businesses working in the digital currency space.
According to the amended draft:
“The bill would authorize a person or entity conducting virtual currency business with less than $1,000,000 in outstanding obligations and whose business model, as determined by the commissioner, represents low or no risk to consumers to register with a $500 license fee and, if approved, receive a provisional license to conduct virtual currency business.”
In addition to giving smaller companies some breathing room, the amendment also means that exchanges will no longer need to obtain a license.
Around the Globe
The European Court of Justice is requesting that Bitcoin operators be exempt from a value added tax (VAT) applied to purchases and sales. The Advocate General cites the fact that other forms of money and currency are not subject to the tax and that several member states, including Spain and Sweden, have exempted Bitcoin from the tax in their countries.
Australia’s Securities and Investment Commission halted the IPO process of Bitcoin Group Ltd. While the regulator hasn’t given specific reasons for the stoppage, it has chastised the company previously during the process for questionable practices related to the public offering, specifically in reference to their funding methods.
A congressman in Brazil is pushing for a closer investigation into Bitcoin via a public hearing. A December 2014 report from the Brazilian senate found that there is currently no need for digital currency regulation. It’s unclear if the hearing will in fact come to pass.
Russia’s president Vladimir Putin made statements about digital currency during an educational address on television. According to reports from CoinDesk, Putin said:
"[Bitcoins] are backed by nothing. This money [is backed by nothing], that's the point, this is the major problem. They are not really linked to anything and backed by nothing. However as an accounting unit, these 'coins' or whatever they are called, they can be used, and their adoption becomes wider and wider. As some kind of unit in some account, probably, it's possible. We do not reject anything, but there are serious, really fundamental issues related to its wider usage, at least, today."
Bitcoin supporters see the comments as a positive sign, signaling that regulation, rather than prohibition, might be the next step for digital currency in the country.
The Government of Jersey
The Government of Jersey is asking the public how it should go about regulating digital currencies. A statement from the chief minister reads:
“Virtual currency systems represent a new and empowering technology. This consultation will allow us to take into account a wide range of views when putting in place an appropriate and proportionate regulatory environment.”
The island, which is a dependency of the British Crown, will hold a public comment period through August 7th.
About itBit's Global Digital Currency Regulatory Roundup
Every month, itBit scours the globe to bring you the most important digital currency regulation news and updates. For past articles, check out the full Global Digital Currency Regulatory Roundup archive.