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New Jersey considers bill to regulate crypto at state level

By Amanda Cooper

Digital Asset and Blockchain Technology Act proposed to state legislature

New Jersey is the latest state to propose legislation to regulate cryptocurrency firms and provide greater consumer protection for those dealing in digital coins.

Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez proposed the Digital Asset and Blockchain Technology Act on February 20 to the New Jersey state legislature. The bill would create new requirements for any digital currency businesses and provide consumer protection. Crypto companies would have to disclose their legally registered names, as well as policies such as anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing, among other things.

“We must take steps to protect consumers looking to invest in cryptocurrency, while also allowing the sector to continue to develop and expand in New Jersey,” Lopez said.

“If we want to keep our economy innovative and competitive, we must welcome emerging industries to do business here in New Jersey. It’s also important that we establish fair and reasonable requirements for this new sector that will protect businesses and consumers alike.”

If the bill passes, New Jersey would join New York in requiring crypto firms to obtain special permission to operate. Crypto regulation in the United States varies from one state to another. The government, via the Justice Department, is co-ordinating with other regulators, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, over future regulation.

“Those with businesses connected to these novel technologies are eager to ensure there are protections against questionable activities for the sake of the industry’s legitimacy. As a new industry, image is important,” said Guillermo Artiles, co-founder of the Blockchain Association of New Jersey, which advocates for virtual currency businesses in the state.

FURTHER READING: Bloomberg woos crypto community with regulation plans

FURTHER READING: Andrew Yang urges crypto regulation reform

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