Xapo and bitcoin industry respond to the revised BitLicense proposal

The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) posted a revised BitLicense proposal on February 25, 2015. The revised proposal reflected many steps in the right direction and addressed numerous concerns voiced by Xapo and the bitcoin industry as a whole. Xapo is the company behind the highly anticipated global bitcoin wallet debit card which will draw down your wallet in BTC per a live exchange rate at time of payment, the card has not shipped as planned so more details regarding the exact mechanisms on how it will work globally and currencies to be supported are to come.

Concerning the BitLicense talks, several of Xapo’s industry colleagues expressed sentiments on the regulatory issues with which they agree. Furthermore, Xapo encourages all stakeholders to review the viewpoints on the BitLicense proposal by Coinbase and Coin Center, each of whom has consistently provided thoughtful commentary on this topic.

Xapo participated with an industry group, including Coinbase, Circle, BitPay, CoinX, Bitreserve, Bitstamp, Bitnet and the Bitcoin Foundation, to provide coordinated feedback on certain key issues. The full text of the joint industry comment letter can be viewed here.

A preview of a part of that letter can be read below:

“The regulatory and legal landscape associated with Bitcoin and digital currencies is still fraught with uncertainty. This uncertainty makes it harder for Bitcoin businesses and their investors to deliver on the huge public policy potential of Bitcoin and blockchain technologies more generally. We believe the NYDFS may be in a unique position to serve as a model for others and bring about greater certainty to the regulatory landscape.

In its current form, while significantly improved from the previous draft, we believe the BitLicense Proposal still contains measures that impose disproportionate burdens on Bitcoin firms that will hinder positive innovation. This is worrisome given the potential for other jurisdictions to emulate the NYDFS and the fact that many Bitcoin businesses have a presence in New York. As such, we believe the BitLicense Proposal should be revised in a few key areas…”

Xapo also submitted its own individual comment letter, echoing similar sentiments as the industry group and touching on some themes from our first letter. The secured bitcoin wallet firm based in Palo Alto also took the opportunity to introduce the bitcoin self-regulatory organization they have been building with the help of specialist consulting group and members of the industry. The full text of Xapo’s comment letter can be viewed here.

Per Xapo’s company blog, they look forward to continuing to work with the NYDFS and the broader bitcoin community on these initiatives.

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