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NH Representative Pushes Back on Virtual Currency Regulation

New Hampshire Representative Daniel Tamburello introduced legislation to exempt virtual currency users from Licensing of Money Transmitters. This legislation is similar to the Model Legislation I proposed on this blog in August of last year.

Another proposal before the New Hampshire legislature would “requir[e] the state treasurer to develop an implementation plan for the state to accept bitcoin as payment for taxes and fees.” The text of this legislation is not yet available, however, I oppose any legislation that mandates a government entity to do something that would increase the cost of operation.

It’s possible that other states will take up legislation to wither regulate or codify the use of bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Last year, in California the legislature repealed a law that stated, “No corporation, social purpose corporation, association, or individual shall issue or put in circulation, as money, anything but the lawful money of the United States.” And there is speculation that the California Legislature could consider legislation to regulate bitcoin.

There are no guarantees that any legislation will pass preventing governments from regulating virtual currencies. However, I believe it is beneficial for legislators, and the public at large, to have a conversation premised around preventing regulations of what is left of the free market.