North Carolina has updated its money transmission statute to clarify the rules for digital currency startups.
Gov. Pat McCrory on Wednesday signed the North Carolina Money Transmitters Act, as requested by the state banking commissioner's office.
The updates effectively helped define what the state considers monetary value, including "virtual currency," according to a news release Wednesday from the Chamber of Digital Commerce, a Washington-based bitcoin and blockchain trade association backed by USAA, the DTCC and Ripple.
The chamber says it worked with the state's banking commissioner and General Assembly over the last 16 months to help shape a more "business-friendly" policy.
Virtual currency miners and blockchain software providers — including smart-contracts platforms — in the state will not need an operating license, the chamber said.
More simply, business-to-business transactions are largely exempt from the statute, which is geared toward money transmission activity for "personal, family, or household purposes."
"Beyond that it will be interesting to see how the state defines the in-between space," said Carol Van Cleef, a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips — like the remittance industry, for example, where many bitcoin companies see big promise. Whether processing a remittance company's transaction qualifies as a business transmission or the consumer's personal need to remit money home is still unclear.
More than anything, the updates bring the bill "more in conformance with what's provided for in a number of other states now," Van Cleef said.