Hawaii’s New Money Transmitters Act Will Require Virtual Currency Licenses

The state of Hawaii is planning to regulate the use of bitcoin and digital currencies that would require licensure to transmit cryptocurrency-based funds. Two bills introduced by a group of partisan Hawaiian lawmakers are focused on digital currencies as a monetary instrument under the state’s Money Transmitters Act.

New Definitions Applied to the Hawaiian Money Transmission Act

Last week Hawaiian bureaucrats reviewed a proposed bill, HI SB3082, that aims to tether regulatory policies to digital currency transmitters. The proposed law adds new definitions like “virtual currency exchanges, transfers, and storage.” The bill will apply to anyone credited with virtual currencies, moving them, relinquishing control, and any use tied to a medium of exchange if passed. The laws will recognize bitcoin as a “permissible investment and statutory trust.” Although, if the statutes does pass, anyone who plans to transmit bitcoin and other forms of digital assets must apply for licensure.

Hawaii’s Virtual Currency Transmission Requirements

Last year Coinbase left the state of Hawaii due to the state’s proposed laws which would require licensed virtual currency transmitters to hold USD reserves. The recently submitted SB3082 has changed this requirement for specific qualified trading platforms. Applicants who want to apply for virtual currency transmission will be required to reveal a lot of information like the applicant’s name and principal address, prior criminal convictions, a description of the business activities, sample of the virtual currency instruments or products, and the name and address of the clearing banks involved. Further, for each virtual currency sale, exchanges must provide its customers with some form of a receipt.

“Each licensee who receives money or monetary value for transmission and the licensee’s authorized delegates shall provide a receipt to the customer that clearly states the amount of money or equivalent value presented for transmission and the total of the fees charged by the licensee,” explains the proposed bill…

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