Way back in mid July, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) rolled out an initial draft of their proposed regulation on Bitcoin, much to the dismay of the community. Ben Lawsky, superintendent of the NYDFS, engaged with Reddit and the Bitcoin community to get feedback on the proposed rules. The response was not positive. There were plenty of jokes, and comparisons to invasive Digital Rights Management software – but there were also very serious concerns raised.
There are numerous, serious, crippling problems with the bill as it currently stands – BitLicense destroys Bitcoin’s privacy, drastically raises the barrier to entry to launching a company that interacts with Bitcoin, and has a number of bizarre restrictions, including making it illegal to hold profits in Bitcoin or sell Bitcoin over the internet, for any business that interacts with the state of New York. Not least, it would make Satoshi Nakamoto, the original inventor of Bitcoin, criminally liable if he refused to shed his anonymity.
In response to the enormous controversy, a public petition was launched in an attempt to extend the legally mandated period of public commentary on the bill by 45 days.
Now, it appears to have worked. In a colorless tweet early this morning, Ben Lawsky posted that the commentary period on the bill would be pushed further out by 45 days, to October 21st, 2014.
You can read the proposed BitLicense regulation here. If, afterwards, you have strong feelings about it (and particularly if you’re a resident of the state of New York), you can inform the relevant regulators of those feelings here