Coin Congress: Debate Over NY’s Regulation on Digital Currencies

Coin Congress in San Francisco was held to discuss recent New York Department of Financial Services’ digital currency regulation.

Photo: Coin Congress

Photo: Coin Congress

First day of Coin Congress, pursued in San Francisco, featured discussions on a range of hot topics relating the cryptocurrency.

Members of the bitcoin community, who gathered at the Hilton Hotel Union Square, dedicated most of the time to the discussions of recent New York Department of Financial Services’ (NYDFS) plans for virtual money regulation.

The topic fueled active debates over the future rules and members of the event, including investors and lawyers, expressed different opinions on the proposal.

Adam Draper, Boost VC founder, gave the shortest and most definitive opinion. He said: “The New York rules suck. It was awful. The worst possible outcome. It’s worse than banking regulation.”

A panel, including some of the main bitcoin startup accelerators, provided comments on the NYDFS proposal that were not quite optimistic. Thus, Sean Percival, 500 Startups partner, said: “They literally just listed a bunch of rules.” He added: “We look at the addressable audience and right now the addressable audience is small.”

The head of Plug and Play Technology Center, Scott Robinson, advised those who want to enter the bitcoin industry, to take into account the future regulatory policy. He noted: “You should definitely know your KYC/AML really well.”

Dan Wheeler, a partner at Bryan Cave LLP, said that businesses avoiding the rules could face serious problems. “This is an area that the regulators are very good at. They are very sophisticated in looking at KYC programs. And unfortunately there are consequences for not doing it right,” he told.

Tim Bynum from BitPay told regulation is a part of participating in the bitcoin industry. “I think concentrate on what is the problem and what is the solution. I think [regulation is] going to be a cost of doing business,” Bynum added.

Jose Caldera, vice president of marketing and products for IdentityMind Global, said regulators should think about bitcoin classifying. “I think it deserves its own financial asset class. That’s why it’s property, that’s why it needs that classification,” Caldera said.

Alan Safahi, ZipZap CEO, conducted the keynote for the congress, noting that bitcoin is developing faster than its counterparts. “Bitcoin outpaces all altcoins,” he said.

Safahi also spoke about solutions providers, including Coinbase and Circle, which bring further legitimacy. Moreover, he covered Kraken and BitGo companies that help to promote bitcoin as new technical innovation.

Steve Beauregard, GoCoin CEO, discussed QR codes that, on his opinion, hold bitcoin back. “Nobody loves QR codes. I think the saying goes, ‘I love QR codes – never’,” he said.

Binary Financial partner Harry Yeh, covered the subject of bitcoin trading, saying it’s not an easy process. He noted: “Money management is a very, very important thing when trading bitcoin. Cut your losses early, and let your gains run.”

Yeh also discussed different tools for trading bitcoin, including fundamental analysis and technical chart information.

He also advised using Google News, CoinDesk and ZeroBlock to know about the latest developments in the digital currency sector.


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