Bitcoin Foundation Releases ‘Primer on the Law of Jurisdiction’

By August 20, 2014Bitcoin Business
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Bitcoin Foundation Releases ‘Primer on the Law of Jurisdiction’
Bitcoin Foundation Releases ‘Primer on the Law of Jurisdiction’

The Bitcoin Foundation on Wednesday announced they are releasing what they are calling a ‘Primer on the Law of Jurisdiction’, which aims to assist both small businesses and start-ups manage their regulatory obligations.

The five-page document was commissioned by Robert A. McFarlane, partner and chair of technology law practice at Hanson Bridgett LLP in San Francisco.

The primer is designed to help businesses in the digital currency realm avoid making themselves subject “burdensome” regulations that would be considered as unfriendly to both bitcoin and digital currency altogether.

The report opens:

The Internet minimizes the importance of geopolitical boundaries. Online, individuals and businesses conduct transactions in distant states and countries with ever-increasing ease and frequency. Bitcoin further diminishes geopolitical distinctions, allowing users to opt out of government-backed currencies in favor of a shared, global medium of exchange. But doing so may place Bitcoin users and businesses under the authority of unfamiliar or burdensome foreign laws, facing the prospect of defending themselves in regulatory proceedings and lawsuits in far-away places.

Discussing on several options, the report even focuses on a little something called geofencing — or the blocking of an end user’s IP address depending on their geographical location (which they may have entered into an address field on a form).

“No Bitcoin business wants to exclude any jurisdiction, but it is important to have that option,” says Jim Harper, head of Global Policy Counsel at the Bitcoin Foundation. “When regulations are unjustified by consumer protection benefits, the better course will be to conduct business in the jurisdictions that embrace innovation, the consumer benefits of Bitcoin, economic growth, and job creation.”

The release of the primer comes in the wake of the recently-published proposals from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), which is working on implementing bitcoin regulations for businesses (otherwise dubbed BitLicense regulations).

Thus far, a number of entities in the bitcoin community have opposed sections of, and even the entire proposal as a whole.

The NYDFS has opened the proposal up for a 45-day commenting period, allowing members of the community to submit their thoughts and feedback.

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