Strevus Inc., a provider of compliance lifecycle management solutions for financial services and digital currency firms announced that it has submitted comments to the New York Department of Finance’s (DFS) recent BitLicense Proposal, which looks to outline state licensing requirements for digital currency dealers. The Company’s full comments on the Regulation of the Conduct of Virtual Currency Businesses are detailed here.
Strevus’s comments focus on matters about which the Company has specific expertise, including regulatory compliance as it relates to the anti-money laundering (AML), Know Your Customer (KYC), fraud and terror financing provisions, which are referenced in the BitLicense Proposal. In order to promote innovation in the digital currency ecosystem and ensure a continued, vibrant New York-based digital currency community, Strevus’s comments urge the DFS to consider:
• That the proposal be no more burdensome than the New York State Money Transmitter Law nor the Federal AML laws.
• That the regulatory framework should not deviate from New York’s existing Money Transmitter Law or Federal AML laws, as this contradicts the DFS’s objective to support identified unique characteristics of virtual currencies.
• Implementing well-established regulatory tools such as minimum thresholds, transition periods and safe harbors.
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Peter Swire, Advisory Board member at Strevus and a scholar and government official in the area of financial privacy and online currencies since the 1990’s stated, “The BitLicense proposal has historic importance as it represents the first significant attempt at rulemaking around digital currency, which will enable new technologies to flourish while also working to ensure that consumers and our country’s national security remain protected.” Swire added, “This objective can be achieved if the DFS takes care to implement regulations that are no more burdensome than New York’s Money Transmitter law or the Federal AML laws. The DFS regulation framework should also preserve and protect those unique aspects of digital currency, and offer an appropriate safe harbor to ensure the continued viability of the digital currency industry.”
Strevus’s compliance lifecycle management solution helps digital currency exchanges to handle the strict anti-money-laundering safeguards and consumer protections spelled out in the proposed licensing regulation. The Company’s technology enables organizations to easily manage the onboarding process, collect information for KYC and AML reporting, and monitor and analyze the data required to ensure ongoing compliance.
“It’s clear that New York is leading the way among other states in virtual currency regulation, which is a good thing, but it certainly places a significant burden on businesses that are transacting Bitcoin or other digital currencies,” said John Bliss, Esq., Chief Compliance Officer at Strevus. “In order to attain the new license, Bitcoin and other digital currency exchanges will be required to have written policies for anti-fraud, anti-money-laundering, cyber-security, privacy, and information security. Bringing some structure to the largely unregulated world of digital currencies makes sense; however, dealers will now feel the same pressure that traditional banking and trading networks have been feeling with their specific but similar regulatory mandates.”