New York Mayor Hits Out at State for Stifling the Bitlicense Scheme

Eric Adams, the New York City Mayor, has reprimanded his state for stifling the BitLicensing regime, indicating that it will negatively impact economic growth and innovation. 

Speaking at an interview at the Crypto and Digital Assets Summit in London on 27th April 2022, Adams indicated that his state should consider listening to experts who are already in the industry. “It is about thinking not only outside the box, but on this one, we may have to destroy the box,” expressed Adams. 

Adams has been a crypto advocate and already highlighted his intention to transform New York into the heart of the crypto industry. To demonstrate this, his first three paychecks were taken in Bitcoin (BTC). Cryptos and blockchain are the future and no opportunity should be wasted on being part of this future. 

The mayor of one of the largest cities in the United States lamented that New York is the only state where crypto companies are required to get licenses. He added that that is a high barrier and will simply make New York less competitive. 

Cryptos Moved From New York After Introduction of BitLicense

In 2015, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) introduced BitLicense for all companies that wanted to get involved in the virtual currency business. DFS indicated that it wanted to ensure that residents enjoyed a well-regulated method of accessing cryptos. However, many crypto firms shifted their bases from New York after the license requirements were unveiled. 

Recent calls to ease restrictions and barriers are targeted at the license that comes at a cost of USD 5,000 together with undefined capital requirements. 

Looking wider, lawmakers are taking stricter regulatory approaches to the crypto industry than Adams would want. In the state capitol, Albany, the lawmakers have passed a bill to the senate asking for a 2-year ban on mining facilities that use proof-of-work (POW) protocol because of high energy use. 

On 9th April, Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law a bill that requires all BitLicensed companies to pay assessment fees for covering regulatory expenses by the DFS. This means that crypto companies could end up paying tens of thousands of US dollars every year. 

Adams, however, pointed out that he was happy to see Governor Hochul leaning to the industry as they look at the bureaucratic bottlenecks that need to be addressed. 

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