New York State has released a first draft of its much-anticipated plan to regulate bitcoin and other virtual currencies, and at first blush, they look like they were written for the 19th century banking industry, not the modern fast-changing world of crypto currencies.
The guy responsible for the rules, Benjamin Lawsky, has a fine line to walk. Bitcoin, after all, came of age as a lubricant for illegal activity on the Silk Road. But today, a new generation of bitcoin startups are coming of age with millions of dollars in backing from legitimate venture capital companies. Is New York about to drive these startups out of town by clubbing them with onerous regulations before they can walk? Quite possibly. The New York regulations introduce a new level of reporting rules that cover a wider swath of businesses and require more work than the current federal guidelines.