Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin M. Lawsky issued a notice yesterday inviting members of the press and public to attend the hearings, which will include witnesses presenting before an inquiry as well as panel discussions.
The notice warned that space would be limited, and promised "a broad cross-section of industry participants, investors, academics and other individuals involved in the virtual currency industry."
As the United States' predominant financial services and trading hub, New York State is bound to receive high-profile attention and set the tone for future discussions with whatever findings it reaches.
Prominent members of the bitcoin and digital currency community testified as witnesses, steering the discussion away from the usual crime-and-security cliches and back towards the potential for financial innovation. Stand-out witnesses included BitPay CEO Tony Gallippi and the Bitcoin Foundation's general counsel Patrick Murck.
The NYDFS's statement in November, however, still listed several examples of bitcoin-related criminal activity before mentioning potential positives. While accepting some form of regulation as potentially inevitable, the digital currency community will again have its collective fingers crossed for further level-headed, conversation-setting testimonies.
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