US banking regulators agree on plans to consolidate digital currency licensing rules

Financial regulators from 49 U.S. states have agreed on a plan for consolidating digital currency licensing compliance, in a move that is set to make it easier for firms to operate across states under the same compliance obligations.

Members of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors agreed to a plan for a new regime for money services businesses, which would introduce a standard ruleset for companies operating throughout the block, covering 49 U.S. states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.

Under existing legal structures, firms are required to apply for licenses for each and every state in which they plan to operate, creating multiple timely and costly compliance requirements—both in terms of securing initial licenses, and in ensuring ongoing regulatory compliance.

Under the new proposals, a single system of regulation means companies will have only a single set of rules to adhere to, which will streamline the process of securing and adhering to money business licenses.

One state will lead on behalf of all members of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors to assess and evaluate each different money service business, with 78 money services businesses likely to be affected by the rule-change. This includes companies like PayPal and Western Union, which facilitate over $1 trillion in transactions every year.

CSBS president and CEO John Ryan said that the new model for regulation would be every bit as rigorous as the current state-level frameworks, only more efficient as a result of standardization.

The details of the new regime are due to be published shortly. It is expected that the move will be welcomed by money services businesses operating in the digital currency sector, including the likes of Coinbase, who will benefit from a single set of compliance rules for operating throughout participating U.S. states.

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