Bitcoin Foundation Seeks to Extend Comment Period for New York’s BitLicense

By August 7, 2014Bitcoin Business
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The Bitcoin Foundation has thrown its weight behind efforts to extend the 45 day-long comment period for the BitLicense proposal drafted and recently released by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).

In an open letter to the NYDFS, Global Policy Counsel for the Bitcoin Foundation Jim Harper said that there needs to be greater cooperation with the bitcoin community and more transparency for the process as a whole. The organization’s efforts to advocate for a more growth-oriented BitLicense proposal builds on a previous grassroots-level initiative in which roughly 400 signatories, according to The New York Times, called on the NYDFS to hold a longer comment period.

The Foundation requested in its letter that the state regulator provide it with the risk assessments drawn up during the BitLicense development period. The NYDFS has since responded that it would provide this information in the next 20 days, and the Foundation pledged on 6th August that it will make this information available for review prior to the close of the comment period.

Harper argued in the letter that, ultimately, the NYDFS has much to gain from collaborating with the bitcoin community on the issue, saying:

“A truly open rulemaking would allow participation far richer than the ability to comment once or twice on draft regulations. The department could take comments and amendments, and interact with commenters, in a better organized and more interactive fashion.”

Harper added in the letter that the Foundation will be submitting further comment on a range of issues related to the BitLicense, although it remains to be seen what the organization will focus on. He went on to urge the NYDFS to engage both industry leaders and the grassroots-level supporters, who Harper said can provide unique perspective if tapped as a resource.

The community itself, for the most part, remains divided on the BitLicense question. For many, the regulations represent either an opportunity to bring bitcoin companies in the mainstream or a potential barrier to innovation in the space.

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