Press Contacts: Washington, DC, Llew Claasen, [email protected]

Washington, DC – July 14, 2017 – On July 14, 2017, Llew Claasen, the Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation, the world’s oldest and largest Bitcoin advocacy organization, asked the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, otherwise known as the Uniform Law Commission (“ULC”), to withdraw its proposed “Uniform Regulation of Virtual Currency Businesses Act.”

In a letter submitted to ULC, Claasen asked the ULC to abandon the proposed statute because its approval would discourage inclusive financial innovation arising out of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.  Furthermore, Claasen also argued that the proposed statute should be abandoned because states already have significant disagreements and approaches as to how to classify or regulate Bitcoin, and because the proposed statute is subject to significant legal uncertainty due to the current legal challenge against the New York “BitLicense” before New York courts.

Adopting a model act with the characteristics of the New York regulation is sure to threaten the existence of the fintech industry nationwide. Just as the fintech industry’s use of cryptocurrency was stifled in New York, it is highly likely that this proposed model act will have a similar negative impact across every state adopting this approach. These innovative businesses will migrate to more welcoming jurisdictions and weaken America’s ability to compete in the emerging field of fintech,” Said Claasen.

In 2015, NYDFS promulgated its controversial “Virtual Currency” regulation (Part 200 of Chapter 1 of Title 23 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations), also known as BitLicense, aimed at regulating Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency businesses in New York. In October 2015, a small business owner, Theo Chino, filed an action in New York State Supreme Court against NYDFS arguing that the agency exceeded its regulatory mandate, and that regulating Bitcoin lies with the legislature, not NYDFS.  The case is Chino vs. NY Dept. Financial Services (“NYDFS”) (Index No. 0101880-2015). 

For more information on the letter to the ULC, visit:

https://bitcoinfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/ULC-Virtual-Currencies_Jul142017-final.pdf

https://medium.com/bitcoinfoundation/the-foul-smell-of-federal-cryptocurrency-legislation-bd0a58995b60