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Bitcoin software developers, whether individuals or companies, can operate in New York without any license, while banks and other financial institutions will require regulation, according to state Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky.
"We are regulating financial intermediaries. We are not regulating software development", Lawsky said in a speech at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City.
His comments came nearly a couple of months after the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) doubled the length of the open-comment period for its proposed BitLicense regulatory framework for virtual currency businesses, extending the period for another 45 days, to October 21st. The agency cited a large number of requests from various sources for additional time to study the proposal as the primary reason to extend the period.
Lawsky clarified that the agency doesn't intend to regulate software as software or software development. "For example, a software developer who creates and provides wallet software to customers for their own use will not need a license", he said, adding that banks, however, cannot start providing virtual currency services without prior approval from the NYDFS.
First proposed back in July this year, the BitLicense regulatory framework is the first of its kind from a US government regulator covering the Bitcoin industry. The proposed rules under the framework would require firms engaged in the virtual currency businesses, for example, receiving or transmitting virtual currency on behalf of consumers, buying and selling virtual currency as a customer business, and more, to obtain a BitLicense and comply with other regulations.