Since the infamous Bitlicense was put into effect, the ecosystem has fought for its removal. It turns out to be much harder in practice than in theory to oust a law once it’s put into effect. The good news is groups like Startup Cities are on the case. They’ve snagged a candidate for governor to champion their cause, and they’re even holding a rally in mid July to help galvanize support for putting down a notoriously bad idea.
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Gubernatorial Candidate Larry Sharpe Will Work to Get the Bitlicense Repealed
Three years later, almost to the date, will find New York City once again placed front and center within the cryptocurrency world. At issue is its regional Bitlicense, enacted and formerly attended to by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS). While limited to residents of New York, it’s probably not too wild of a statement to insist New York City is the defacto financial capital of the world. What it does usually means other regional professional finance laws are sure to follow.
And the law is comprehensive, so vague it appears to cover every aspect of potential crypto movement: transmission, storing, holding, any kind of custodial arrangement, exchanges, etc., you name it, it’s probably governed under the license. That a company or individual would need such permission has created a perhaps unintended consequential truism: at least a dozen bitcoin-related companies have left the state. Who knows how many potential businesses never even began due to this market entry barrier. It has been dubbed the “Great Bitcoin Exodus” by the New York Business Journal.
Peter Ryan and his Startup Cities organization have had enough. This July 10, he’s bringing in New York candidate for governor Larry Sharpe for a candid discussion about what can be done, including a complete repeal of the Bitlicense. “I don’t want us to vote bitcoin away,” Mr. Sharpe stressed. “I want us to embrace it.” The July 10th event is to be held at Galvanize, 6:30pm to 9pm, and tickets are $20 (get half off by entering: “crypto”), payable in fiat or bitcoin cash.
Ignoring Politics Doesn’t Mean Government Will Ignore You
The law is so difficult to navigate potentially, businesses are relying on former regulators such as Benjamin Lawsky to assist in maintaining compliance. Mr. Lawksy, many will remember, was the principal proponent of the license while on the NYSDFS. After its taking effect, Mr. Lawsky suddenly retired from public service, and began lobbying on behalf of companies seeking compliance in conformity with a law he helped bring about. More recently, last year in fact, Mr. Lawsky joined Ripple as a board member.
Still, there has been tacit embrace of the regulation, and some businesses, citing clarity and the need to enter a lucrative market such as New York City, have applied. Circle was first, Ripple next, Coinbase shortly after, followed by Bitflyer, Genesis Global Trading, Xapo, and Square Inc., just recently.
Startup Cities, the group behind the July 10th gathering, bills itself as “entrepreneurs, economists, and urbanist thinkers [joining] forces to discuss the actions, effects, and impacts of startup methodology for cities.” Startups, and the culture surrounding them, act as a kind of metaphor for decision making: innovative, deliberate. They routinely hold conferences and public discussions, and then “invite our audience to a networking session to chat about entrepreneurship, urbanism, and decentralization. We hope to demystify the concepts of starting new types of societies,” its website claims.
“Larry Sharpe is running for governor to change and innovate the state,” Startup Cities explained further, “leveraging his background as a soldier, businessman, and educator. He is one of the most supportive and forward-thinking politicians on the issue of cryptocurrencies.” The group’s mission “is to create a nexus of information and action. That nexus includes research produced by academics, technology envisioned by entrepreneurs, and support funded by both private and public investors.” The event is also sponsored by Urbanist, Bitcoin Center NYC, Crypto NYC, Galvanize, Ollie, Shapeshift, and Bitcoin.com.
Would a pro-cryptocurrency politician earn your vote? Let us know in the comments.
Images via the Pixabay, Larry Sharpe.
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