On Thursday May 12th, Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation that defines virtual currency, which will ease state financial regulations and clarify state law.
This new legislation will come into effect on January 1st, 2023, and will upend a court ruling that took place in 2019 which prevented individuals who own cryptocurrencies from selling it without a money transmitter license.
What does this new legislation do?
This new legislation, House Bill 273, defines virtual currency as a medium of exchange in electronic or digital format which is not currency. This means that platforms like Coinbase and Voyager that enable cryptocurrency transactions will require a money transmitter license. With this adjustment individuals seeking to sell cryptocurrency are not subject to licensure requirements. The state definition of cryptocurrency will allow for clear regulations by the state in the future as digital currency continues to grow.
Senator Jason Brodeur was quoted saying, “This new legislation will lay some guardrails down for how we will deal with cryptocurrency.”. He and DeSantis have called HB 273 the first step in what will hopefully be a long journey in cryptocurrency space.
This legislation is happening just shy of three years after a case sprung up in Miami, when police arrested a man for selling Bitcoin for cash to an undercover detective. The man was charged with two counts of money laundering and a count of transmitting money without a license. Back when this happened, the man argued that money transmitting laws didn’t apply to Bitcoin.
Why is this new Bill important?
This new bill comes at an important time when compliance is at the forefront of the cryptocurrency space.
As the industry has boomed, it has fallen victim to fraudulent activity because of its popularity and the lack of regulations. However, with legislation like this new Florida bill, there is a renaissance happening in the industry when it comes to regulatory efforts. Governing agencies are starting to realize the legitimacy of the industry and want to make sure people are not illegally operating businesses surrounding cryptocurrency.
Other efforts and businesses have also been set to ensure that people trying to get into the cryptocurrency industry are compliant and meet regulations. A big one has been BTM Compliance, a company that specializes in Bitcoin ATM compliance. Their services specialize in designing custom compliance programs that are tailored to a customers’ specific business needs and regulatory requirements.
*This blog article cannot and does not contain legal advice. The information is provided for general informational purposes only which are factually based on research and personal experience. This is not a substitute for professional advice from your own legal counsel. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with your legal counsel. We do not provide any kind of legal advice. The use or reliance of any information contained in this blog is solely at your own risk.