New Hampshire's Bitcoin MSB Exemption Clears First Vote

Lawmakers in New Hampshire have advanced a measure that would exempt bitcoin traders in the state from money transmitter requirements.

Mar 9, 2017 at 4:21 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 1:08 p.m. UTC

Lawmakers in New Hampshire have advanced a proposed law that would exempt bitcoin traders in the state from money transmitter requirements.

The bill, HB 436, was passed in the New Hampshire House of Representatives yesterday by a vote of 185-170. With the passage, the measure now moves to the state Senate for further consideration. Public records currently do not indicate when the New Hampshire Senate will take up the bill.

Specifically, HB 436 seeks to exempt virtual currency users from having to register as money service businesses, while also creating a formal definition for "virtual currency" under state law.

According to a draft text of the bill, the exemption applies to "persons conducting business using transactions conducted in whole or in part in virtual currency".

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Barbara Biggie, a former Western Union employee, and co-sponsored Rep. Keith Ammon, a bitcoin early adopter and libertarian activist in New Hampshire. The bill was first introduced in January, moving out of the House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee on 16th February.

HB 436 stands in contrast with New York’s BitLicense, formalized in 2015, which added new compliance layers under the state's financial regulations for businesses dealing in digital currencies.

The bill's advancement is the latest sign that state legislatures around the US are moving quickly on new laws related to the tech.

Just this week, lawmakers in Maine put forward a proposal to create a commission that would study the veracity of blockchain-based elections. The goal, according to the measure filed, is to see whether the tech can improve transparency while also aiding the accuracy of paper-based votes.

Image via Shutterstock

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