New Banking Task Force to Study Digital Currencies

A new US state bankers' task force has been formed to investigate new payment system technologies, including bitcoin.

AccessTimeIconFeb 22, 2014 at 10:40 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 10:22 a.m. UTC

The Chairman of the US Senate's Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) which investigated digital currencies in November has responded positively to the creation of a new state bankers' task force to perform its own study into what sort of regulation is necessary.

The new "Emerging Payments Task Force" comes from the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), a national meeting group of regulators from all states "dedicated to advancing the state banking system" in the US at a federal level. It aims to study the impacts and potential consumer protection issues arising from new payment method technologies, including bitcoin, among several others.

HSGAC Chairman Senator Tom Carper (D-Del) issued a press statement earlier approving the move, saying he wanted to ensure governments "are adequately protecting consumers and addressing lawbreakers without hindering innovation".

"That’s why I am encouraged that the Conference of State Bank Supervisors is paying attention to this evolving technology and looking for ways to better coordinate oversight to protect consumers and local communities.

While there is still more work to be done, this is an important step. I encourage federal and state agencies and local entities, including banks, to further their collaboration so consumers and businesses can understand the rules of the road and be well served by them.”

Digital currency stakeholders

The Task Force will speak to a "broad range of stakeholders" in the virtual currency and payments sphere, including state and federal regulators, people in the industry, and other experts. It too believes there must be enough regulation to protect participants but not at the expense of progress.

"State regulators welcome a robust and focused dialogue about the benefits and risks of innovations to payment systems," said CSBS Chairman and Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions Commissioner Charles A. Vice. "We seek an environment where technological innovation can be developed, but also regulated in a clear manner."

The Task Force will include state regulators from nine states, including Superintendent of New York State Department of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky, who oversaw that Department's recent hearings into digital currencies and who also promotes special 'BitLicence' money transmitter regulations specific to such systems.

On its website, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors introduces itself thus:

"Our regulator membership sets us apart from other Washington organizations. Our strength lies in bringing all state banking departments together to present a unified voice in Washington. Through CSBS, state bank regulatory agencies continue to champion a system that offers competitive chartering options and efficient and effective – and local – supervision."

US Law image via Shutterstock

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