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North Carolina passes blockchain-friendly virtual currency law

07 July 2016  |  9037 views  |  0 chequered flag

After 16 months of deliberation, North Carolina has enacted a blockchain-friendly bill with the passing of the North Carolina Money Transmitter Act.

The Act updates the state’s existing laws to include a defined “virtual currency” term, and clarification as to which activity using virtual currency triggers licensure under the bill. Virtual currency miners and blockchain software providers including smart contracts platforms, coloured coins, smart property, multi-signature software, and non-hosted, non-custodial wallets will not require a license to conduct business in the state.

The result, says Perianne Boring, founder and president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, is a more business-friendly approach that invites companies seeking to use virtual currencies or the underlying technologies, like blockchains or distributed ledgers, to bring their businesses to North Carolina.

Passed with the assent of the North Carolina Commissioner of Banks, the approach contrasts with New York’s BitLicense plan, a stricter regime which was enacted before the advantages of bitcoin's underlying blockchain paradigm became apparent.

“It’s been a long journey, however the benefits for both business and consumers in North Carolina won’t take nearly as long to surface,” says Boring. “North Carolina anticipated key issues, and developed a reasonable solution to address each concern. This has paved the way for other states to realize and embrace the incredible potential of these technologies.”

She says the trade association is working in collaboration with several other states, the Uniform Law Commission and the Conference of State Supervisors as they develop their own approaches to virtual currencies and blockchain technology.

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