N.Y. Department of Financial Services Promises More Information about “BitLicense” Proposal

I’m pleased to report that in response to a filing we submitted yesterday, the New York Department of Financial Services has agreed to provide the foundation more information about its controversial “BitLicense” proposal.

Our comment, which echoed and extended the Bitcoin community’s request for more time to comment, cited New York law requiring a clear statement of “needs and benefits” for proposed regulations. If the DFS determined not to publish this information itself, our submission was to be treated as a request under New York’s Freedom of Information Law for “any risk management and cost-benefit analysis (or any other systematic assessment) that is a part of the ‘extensive research and analysis’” the NYDFS cited when it issued its proposal.

The DFS responded promptly, agreeing to fulfill our request within 20 days. If the agency takes the full 20 days, the materials will be available just days before the close of the original comment period on the regulations, which was the minimum allowed by New York law. The NYDFS has signaled that it will extend the comment period. In any event, we will publish all of the material we receive for the Bitcoin community to review.

Our comment also suggested that the NYDFS adopt “an iterative process, in which you issue drafts, take comments for three months, re-draft, and take comments again until the many, many issues raised by the proposed regulation are thoroughly vetted in true collaboration with the community. ”

Citing the NYDFS Superintendent’s willingness to engage with the community on Reddit, we highlighted tools such as News Genius and GitHub that would support a truly collaborative rulemaking process. “[T]he department should resist the constraints of administrative procedures developed in the era of postage stamps,” I wrote—I really like that line ’cause it’s so dang true. “We are confident that the community will meet you wherever you announce you will be engaging with them.”

Read the whole thing. …But of course I’d say that!