In 2016, Alaska legislators tried and failed to pass a bill that would have required digital currency companies to register under the state’s money services licensing regime. At least one member of the legislature appears undaunted by that bill’s failure to pass, and has introduced a new bill to regulate cryptocurrency firms. That proposed law, House Bill 180, was introduced this week by representative Kito Fansier.
Under the terms of the bill, digital currency firms that store, transmit, or exchange Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies would be regulated in accordance with Alaska’s money transmission statutes. The would mean that companies subject to the law would be forced to seek appropriate licensing from Alaska’s Banking and Securities Commission.
This latest attempt to regulate Alaskan digital currency activities offers a definition for “virtual currency” – the term many legislators and media outlets often use when referring to digital currencies – that includes any “digital representation of value that does not have legal tender status in the United States but can be digitally traded and functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, a store of value; or is incorporated into payment system technology.” That definition also exempts cryptocurrency systems used only for loyalty rewards programs or those that are exclusively used within online gaming platforms.