New York is set to become the first state in the US to regulate the popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin and says that they see a lot of promise in the Bitcoin as a whole.
"I do think it holds a lot of promise (if money laundering can be adequately addressed), both on its own and in terms of causing existing payments system technologies to up their game," Benjamin Lawsky who is superintendent of Financial Services in New York wrote on Reddit in a two hour long Q&A thread.
Lawsky has spoken about the Bitcoin publicly before, believing that the Bitcoin could have a profound impact on the future of payments and financial systems. He also admitted that regulators are not always experts on cryptocurrency and that he still sees problems with exchange sites like MtGox.
Lawsky has also written about his personal evolution of the Bitcoin, admitting that he at first didn't understand exactly what it was and how it could become useful, but later on became genuinely interested in the Bitcoin and its many new and interesting features towards the whole currency industry.
Despite Lawsky liking the cryptocurrency, he still made it very clear that they are working towards regulating Bitcoins. He is working towards making New York the first state to regulate Bitcoins, in hopes of attracting more businesses into accepting it. While some states may take the framework they will create, he is not expecting anyone to do so.
Lawsky said in his two hour Q&A on Reddit that it's possible that they will be the first state to regulate Bitcoins and pointed towards the fact that the Conference of State Bank supervisors had formed an emerging payments task force that he would be a part of. They will study new payment methods, including the Bitcoin, showing that New York are not the only state that wants to regulate.
Lawsky also outlined that it is not important for him to be the first state to regulate the Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but more important that the framework is ideal both for users and merchants. Lawsky has said that they are considering creating a "BitLicense" for companies to accept the cryptocurrency, without going into further details. It will be interesting for the people in New York and other states to see exactly what the framework will include and if it will affect how the Bitcoin is made to be used.