FinCEN renamed "stored value" to "pre-paid access", opportunity?
Accordingly to US Law (UNIFORM MONEY SERVICES ACT), Bitcoin has "monetary value" thus qualifying as "stored value". [see 1]
So any person or business transferring bitcoin from any kind of account based system to another person or business (as in a payment service) will need a "Money transmitting" license.There is no US$ 1000.00 threshold for that
, you transferred 1 btc from one person to another via funded accounts in your site, you need a "Money Transmitting" license.
From my understanding, if you do not transfer funds between users and limit the activity to US$ 1000.00 a day per user, you still are a MSB
because bitcoins can be transferred to foreign countries, revoking the threshold.
But recently the definition of "stored value" changed, it also was renamed to "pre-paid access".
The definition go as follows:
The final rule renames 'stored value' as 'pre-paid access' without narrowing or broadening the meaning of the term, but recognises that value is not stored on the card. Specifically, the final rule defines 'pre-paid access' as:
"[a]ccess to funds or the value of funds that have been paid in advance and can be retrieved or transferred at some point in the future through an electronic device or vehicle, such as a card, code, electronic serial number, mobile identification number, or personal identification number."
The key parts of the definition are as follows:
Funds have been paid in advance; and
Those funds can be retrieved or transferred in the future.
FinCEN indicates that it believes that the definition has the necessary regulatory elasticity to survive future technological advancements.
The key term for me is "paid in advance".
Are bitcoins paid in advance ? Maybe I minted mine ?
The characterization of bitcoin as a "pre-paid access" is crucial to enforce regulation.
It is a show stopper for me. I think it will be at least a major pain for many other bitcoin business (like the wonderful casascius bitcoins, they look very similar to a redeemable pre paid "card").
Anyone here have some move information about this ? Maybe we can collectively hire a lawyer to give us a final word about that
I'm more than willing to donate for that cause, maybe some more well know member can aggregate the donations ?
UNIFORM MONEY SERVICES ACThttp://www.securitization.net/knowledge/legal/uniform.asp
1. "Monetary value" is defined as "a medium of exchange, whether or not redeemable in money." Although not defined, medium of exchange connotes that the value is accepted by a larger group than the two parties to the change. Therefore, no "monetary value" would exist if the product (i.e., gift certificate) or payment mechanism (i.e., university payment card) is only accepted by one merchant.
2. "Stored value" is defined as "monetary value that is evidenced in an electronic record." Because "monetary value" is a required component of stored value, single issuer cards (i.e., gift certificates) and closed-end stored value systems (i.e., public transportation cards) are still excluded.
3. "Money transmission" means to engage in the business of (a) selling or issuing payment instruments, (b) selling or issuing stored value; or (c) receiving money or monetary value for transmission to a location within or outside the United States. This definition includes entities that receive and hold funds of consumers prior to transmission, whereas entities serving as a clearing agent for transmitted money (but never possess consumers’ funds) are outside the scope of the UMSA.http://www.law.upenn.edu/bll/archives/ulc/moneyserv/umsa2004final.htm
10. “Monetary value.” The definition of “money” has been expanded to reflect the fact that certain payment service providers employ a form of value that is not directly redeemable in money, but nevertheless (1) serves as a medium of exchange and (2) places the customer at risk of the provider’s insolvency while the medium is outstanding. The same safety and soundness issues pertinent to redeemable forms of value apply to these irredeemable forms of value. Consequently, a new definition of “monetary value” has been included in this Act.