Chamber of Digital Commerce Presents at North Carolina Senate
Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, June 16, 2016 – The North Carolina Senate Finance Committee met this Tuesday to consider a proposed bill that would, among other things, clarify the state’s regulation of virtual currency and distributed ledger-related businesses. As part of the Committee Meeting, the Chamber of Digital Commerce and law firm Perkins Coie presented on blockchain technology.
The North Carolina Money Transmitter Act would update the state’s existing Act in a number of important ways, including the addition of a defined “virtual currency” term, and clarification as to which activity using virtual currency triggers licensure under the Act.
While current North Carolina law can clearly be read to cover certain virtual currency-related business models, its language remains ambiguous – particularly for companies using the underlying technology for applications other than payments. The Act would not only clarify the licensure requirement as to a variety of virtual currency-related business models, but it would also make important distinctions between companies using virtual currency (like bitcoin), and ones that use the underlying software technology (like blockchains or distributed ledgers).
This Act provides clarity to the entire industry by defining what types of companies innovating with blockchain technology need to be licensed and regulated as money transmitters. It also updates the law to include an important agent of the payee exception, which would be available to all potentially regulated entities, whether the business model is virtual currency-related or not. The Act is a more comprehensive and business-friendly approach to regulating virtual currency on the state level, and starkly contrasts New York’s separate licensing regime.
The Act was first introduced in March of last year at the request of the Commissioner of Banks, and was resoundingly passed by the North Carolina House of Representatives in May by a vote of 117-1.
“The state-by-state money transmitters licensing regime is a costly, onerous and labor-intensive path for any company to take,” said Perianne Boring, Founder and President of the Chamber of Digital Commerce. “The passage of this Act into law is good for business, jobs and innovation in North Carolina. We urge Senate leadership to take the next steps to bring it to the floor for a vote.”
“The North Carolina Money Transmission Act represents a thoughtful approach to virtual currency regulation that reflects prior work by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and the on-going efforts of the Uniform Law Commission,” said Carla Reyes, Associate at Perkins Coie LLP and incoming law faculty at Stetson University College of Law. “The importance of clarity provided through legislative action for members of the industry cannot be overstated, and the Act offers both that clarity and other important updates to North Carolina money transmission law.”
About the Chamber of Digital Commerce
The Chamber of Digital Commerce is the world’s leading trade association dedicated to promoting the understanding, acceptance and use of digital assets and blockchain-based technologies. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Chamber is the founder of the Smart Contracts Alliance, the Blockchain Alliance, the Global Blockchain Forum and many other key industry initiatives. For more information, please visit DigitalChamber.org or follow us on Twitter: @ChamberDigital.
Chamber Media Contact:
Paragon Public Relations