With state-by-state licensing being a well observed issue and roadblock to innovation and progress within the U.S cryptocurrency industry, the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is looking for industry input into the situation. Many in the industry are looking for some form of national licensing to replace the current system and help the industry grow and innovate more easily. The process is still ongoing but this move from government represents a significant step in the development of the digital currency industry within the U.S.
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Licensing issues with various aspects of the digital currency industry have been a focus of businesses and advocacy groups for some time, and after a report has been published by the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) on the subject, the industry has responded with resolutions they feel could streamline the regulator’s activities and improve things for the industry as well.
The industry in general has viewed the OCC’s attempts to understand the way in which digital currencies work in relation to people and the law as a welcome and positive move, however the responses from businesses and advocacy groups were mostly unified around issues with complexity that state-by-state licensing caused the industry. Claiming this complex local legislative regime is stifling innovation in the country, and is a barrier for new startups in the cryptocurrency field in particular. Instead, they put forward suggestions for a national licensing regime that could streamline the system and create a cohesive framework for the industry to work within across the country.
Industry organizations that took part included Coinbase, the bitcoin exchange, along with payment app Circle, advocacy group Coin Center and startup Ripple, and the united opinion about the need for national licensing suggests an industry that knows where it wants to be. Ripple director of regulatory relations, Ryan Zagone, noted that “Our regulatory regime lacks an efficient national licensing option designed for companies with national or global reach. This gap limits the ability for these companies to grow in the US. In many cases, they relocate or focus their growth in countries with more efficient licensing regimes."
This summation is perhaps the best way to highlight the problems facing the digital currency industry within the U.S., and it is highly encouraging that this process is moving forward in a clear and transparent way. Ultimately, for the global cryptocurrency industry having a more effective U.S. environment for new thinking and development will be beneficial to all, and while the solution is not yet clear, this progress is highly encouraging.