What’s that? You want to start a Bitcoin business but don’t have half a million dollars to become compliant with FinCEN and secure a money transmitter license in each of the 50 states?
Well – at least you have the Bitcoin Foundation fighting against excessive regulation and unnecessary oversight. Right? Not exactly. According to foundation counsel and former Department of Homeland Security adviser, Jim Harper, who joined the foundation in March, they don’t want any average Joe firing up a Bitcoin business. That privilege should be reserved for the well financed alone.
Yesterday, Harper told the NY Times that Bitcoin businesses should not be available to just anyone.
Well-formulated regulation can help because you don’t want everyone to start a Bitcoin business.
As reported Monday, the latest FinCEN rulings broaden the definition under which businesses will be considered money transmitters. In some cases, this could force merchants to close up shop or to stop accepting the digital gold. Some merchants that currently accept Bitcoin, and pay out dollars to staff or other third parties, might now fall under the new definition.
But the former DHS official supports regulation and is actually arguing for more
We argue that Bitcoin should be integrated into existing financial services regulation, and we point out the progress in states like Texas and Kansas (along with what’s pending in North Carolina), and in federal agencies like FinCEN, the IRS, and FEC.
Many early Bitcoin adopters had hoped the digital currency would bring new economic freedoms to those less privileged in the World. Some had envisioned a society that offered equal opportunity for both rich and poor. But these new regulations could make opening a Bitcoin business more restrictive than opening a traditional fiat-based enterprise.
Do you Bitcoin should be open to everyone or should it be reserved for those with deep pockets? Log in below using your favorite social media network and weigh in on the discussion.