DFS Announces Proposed Guidance on Adoption and Listing of Virtual Currencies

December 16, 2019

The New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) recently announced a proposed guidance regarding the adoption and listing of virtual currencies. Specifically, DFS is seeking public comment regarding two proposed coin adoption/listing options that DFS is considering making available to regulated Virtual Currency licensees, including those holding BitLicenses and trust charters.

The two proposed coin adoption/listing changes are:

  1. A proposed DFS web-page that will list all coins permitted for the virtual currency business activities of Virtual Currency licensees, without the need for prior DFS approval. The coins currently contemplated for the list include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Ether Classic, Litecoin, Ripple, Paxos Standard, and Gemini Dollar.A proposed model framework for the creation of company coin-listing policies, such that an existing licensee could tailor the model framework to its own operations and risk profile, and submit a proposed coin-listing policy for DFS approval, which, if approved by DFS, would enable the licensee to self-certify the listing or adoption of new coins in addition to those listed under (1) above, without DFS’s prior approval.
  2. Notably, once a Virtual Currency licensee’s coin-listing policy is approved by DFS, the licensee will be able to self-certify to DFS that its proposed adoption or listing of new coins complies with its DFS-approved coin-listing policy, and provide written notice to DFS of its intent to offer and use any such new coins. Thus, no prior DFS approval will be required – rather, only prior notice to DFS would be required.

DFS is accepting public comment through January 27, 2020.