The United States is considered by many the first world power that is why, when talking about Bitcoin, the North American nation has a powerful capacity to promote or dispel investment possibilities in this market.
US businessmen, developers and authorities have been prominent figures in the blockchain ecosystem, and that has moved a wave of adoption which over time has been gaining more strength, in the case of the United States, could become the solution for multiple sectors.
The case triggered alerts from the United States Senate, which made constant calls to the country’s security agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security (DSH), to take action on the matter and prevent digital currencies from becoming tools. Facilitators of illegality. Likewise, Silk Road was the antecedent that gave rise to the stigmatization of Bitcoin, relating the currency to drug trafficking, terrorist financing and sex trafficking.
In this way, Bitcoin has had a fierce battle in the US legislative branch that has staggered the cryptographic currency between legality and illegality, threatening to suffer the most stringent regulations. However, in the midst of highs and lows, Bitcoin remains legal in the United States and is recognized by the Financial Crimes Prosecution Network (CinFEN), an agency affiliated with the US Department of Treasury, as an alternative money service.
This possibility has been drawn in the American legal horizon thanks also to a recent institutional disposition to learn more about cryptocurrencies, allowing a greater number of people to place their trust in cryptographic money.
A difficult year for Bitcoin in the United States
Between a growing stigmatization and severe regulatory measures, the year 2018 was the most counterproductive period for the cryptocurrency and the one that has brought major legal obstacles to investors and exchange houses in the United States.
With the case of Silk Road still very recent for the conviction of Ross Ulbricht to life imprisonment, exploded another scandal that sank Bitcoin in the world of corruption. Anthony R. Murgio and Yuri Lebedev, executives of the defunct currency exchange Coin.Mx, were arrested on July 21, 2015 for operating Bitcoin exchange services without a license under the name of a briefcase company.
This commotion, together with other legal movements, created the environment for the application of one of the most criticized Bitcoin regulatory measures in recent times: the Bitlicense. Benjamin Lawsky, Superintendent of Fiscal Services of New York, conducted an investigation of more than two years in the cryptocurrency sector in order to create a legal mechanism that would protect clients’ investments by applying a set of anti-money laundering regulations. Cybersecurity rules and identity protection of users in the state that created the largest exodus of money exchange houses in history.
The Bitlicense was a battle between the regional power and the exchange houses, which ceased operations in the state of New York due to conceptual and ethical disagreements, as well as the high costs of the license. However, the Bitlicense became a phenomenon that sought to replicate itself in other states, achieving success only in New Hampshire and a resounding rejection in California.
To this day the Bitcoin license continues to wreak havoc in the business commerce of cryptocurrencies of these two states. In New York there are only three licensed exchange houses, a scenario that seriously affects the New York forecasts of becoming a blockchain city after this regulation affected fintech development.
Patrick Murck, lawyer and member of the Berkman Klein Center for the Internet and Society at Harvard University, spoke about the complicated regulatory issue and the disadvantages suffered by companies specialized in cryptocurrencies in New York in an interview with Reuters.