There seems to be some blow-back from the New York BitLicense, which came into effect yesterday. The deadline for bitcoin companies in New York State to apply for BitLicense was set till August 10, 2015. With the passing of the deadline, many bitcoin companies both big and small have decided to pull out of New York.
Some of the well-known names in the bitcoin industry including Kraken, Bitfinex and ShapeShift are among the ones who decided not to comply with BitLicense. All these bitcoin companies, along with few others have stopped their operations in New York. BitLicense requires companies to spend huge amounts of money to set in place various compliance requirements to qualify for approval, which is not feasible for many bitcoin startups. Also, every company applying for BitLicense has to pay a non-refundable fee of $5000 without any guarantee of receiving approval.
The current situation in New York seems to have triggered Thomas Curry, the Head of Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC) to suggest a balanced regulatory approach for the US fintech sector. He also happened to specifically mention bitcoin as an example during his recent speech.
While accepting the fact that recent developments in fintech has been happening outside the banking sector, he mentioned that introduction of burdensome rules may stifle innovation in fintech. According to him, the OCC already has a team in place comprising of policy experts, examiners, lawyers and more who are working on developing a framework. The main purpose for this framework will be to evaluate the latest fintech products and services that are hitting the market. He also said that he would like have OCC ready to understand and handle the innovation happening outside the traditional banking system.
His comments makes it quite obvious that no one really wants to have another BitLicense on their hands. It can destroy the cryptocurrency industry , or isolate the region in question from any cryptocurrency related developments happening across the world.