New York ponders « BitLicense » for virtual currency


« Serious people — in the technological and investment community — are taking virtual currencies seriously. » Those were the words of a senior New York financial regulator, who spoke on Tuesday to investors and Bitcoin enthusiasts as part of a two-day hearing process on the future of virtual currencies in the state.

In the speech, Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of financial services for the state of New York, emphasized that regulators are taking an open view of the potential and pitfalls of currencies like Bitcoin, which are attracting endless speculation and hype, but also serious investments like the $25 million that VC’s recently poured into Coinbase.

Lawsky also noted that New York regulators are considering a « BitLicense » specially tailored for overseeing virtual currencies.

The issue is important because even though federal regulators appeared to bless Bitcoin in November, state governments still have the power to control money transmitters — and…

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