It’s not clear if bitcoin startups, particularly those that develop software rather than process payments, will be subject to the rules. The NCCOB spokesperson suggested that this was unlikely, as such companies wouldn’t fall under the Money Transmitters Act jurisdiction normally, but states that it was impossible to give a “generic opinion on specific companies without reviewing the details of that company’s business.”
Unlike the New York Department of Financial Services’ BitLicense rules, the NCCOB’s rules would not require bitcoin-using companies to convert their profits to dollars, or otherwise direct how such profits were used or invested. It would, however, require that licensed transmitters hold “unencumbered permissible investments” of at least the face value of outstanding funds.
The NCCOB is leaving the door open to revisiting these rules, however, noting that the regulatory agency has “concerns about the ability of existing law to keep pace with changes in cryptocurrencies.” The spokesperson said that should the current ruling prove inadequate, further legislation may be necessary.