U.S. States Take the Lead in Bitcoin Regulation

May 20, 2014

U.S. States Take the Lead in Bitcoin Regulation A group of state bank regulators in the U.S. met late last week to discuss emerging payments and to begin to provide a regulatory roadmap for businesses that want to accept or support bitcoin payments. In February, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors established the Emerging Payments Task Force to examine the most important issues facing payments and new technology. On Friday, the task force heard from industry executives on three separate panels looking at legacy payments systems, innovations in retail payments and virtual currencies. But the Task Force’s efforts to formulate rules for bitcoin acceptance made the biggest splash.

During the panel, David Cotney, head of the task force and commissioner of the Massachusetts Division of Banks, told Reuters that the first step in trying to get a handle on bitcoin from a regulatory standpoint was to define which companies in the ecosystem need to be regulated and which don’t.

“We may be looking at some type of model definitions, or model laws or regulations, and very likely recommendations to either our federal colleagues or to Congress,” he said.

The Task Force said it wants to deliver a rule book with recommendations on the matter in a year.