This guidance was issued to “provide clarity and regulatory certainty for businesses and individuals engaged in an expanding field of financial activity.” Or put another way, FinCEN explains who exactly they intend to regulate.
FinCEN covers their bases here discussing “users, administrators, and exchangers… persons creating, obtaining, distributing, exchanging, accepting or transmitting” virtual currencies, both centralized and de-centralized, e-currencies and e-precious metals.
FinCEN sees those dealing in virtual currencies as their regulatory responsibility
Users, and Bitcoin miners seem to be exempt from regulation for the moment
Buying or selling virtual currencies for “any reason” can make you a money transmitter and subject to FinCEN regulation
Virtual currency dealers are NOT necessarily foreign exchange dealers
FinCEN rules can also apply to those dealing in e-precious metals
However, Prepaid Access rules do NOT apply to virtual currencies
Out very soon, the new version of Ripple has has undergone a dramatic renovation.
Ripple was created by Ryan Fugger in 2006 as a trust network where people can grant each other credit, and anyone can ‘be their own bank’. The project has since been acquired by a team of developers including Mt. Gox creator Jed McCaleb. Ryan’s trust network is still there, but it is now one feature of a much expanded system.
The new features of the soon to be open source software include the possibility for a decentralized currency exchange, a p2p transaction network, “Gateways” for bringing other currencies into the system, and Ripples (XRP), a new digital currency.
Monetas is building software for a decentralized financial and legal system that is less dependent on traditional bankers and lawyers.
The business’ founders, Chris Odom (Fellow Traveler) and Johann Gevers aim to make this ‘financial system 2.0’ possible by developing commercial versions of the Open Transactions digital finance library. This software will allow digital finance entrepreneurs to startup micropayment services, financial markets, community currencies, escrow services, and many others all without depending on the traditional banking or legal system.
Johann, Monetas’ CEO, recently shared with me his thoughts on finance, his belief in decentralized systems and his plans for Monetas.
Digital Gold Currency is a fantastic idea. Gold enjoys thousands of years of history as an excellent currency and store of value. It is a form of money that is constantly chosen by the market and that needs no legislation to support its value. Gold is stable, solid and cannot be pulled out of thin air. With modern technology gold can be used as a currency online without any more effort than it takes to check your email. Brilliant!
But as DGC’s were starting to take off and be recognized for their many benefits, the rug was pulled out from under the industry with the prosecution of e-gold. The old DGC business model is centralized and vulnerable to seizure, censorship and prohibitive regulation.
The Voucher-Safe system allows for a more decentralized, Anti-Money Laundering compliant way to anonymously exchange value. It’s DGC 2.0, a more flexible and resilient system where anything can be money. “The idea behind voucher-safe is that it isn’t about making just one thing money. Money can be gold, it can be existing national fiat currencies, it can be bitcoins, it can be silver, it can be anything of value that people want to exchange.”
GLBSE is a stock exchange for shares of companies denominated in Bitcoins. Late last week, without warring, the exchange was closed. “Nefario”, the owner of the website, shut it down with no explanation given.