Senators in New Hampshire have passed a bill that would exempt digital currency traders from money transmission regulations, advancing the measure to the state's governor for signature.
HB436, first filed in mid-January, aims to create an exception from money transmission requirements for "persons conducting business using transactions conducted in whole or in part in virtual currency".
The proposal drew both supporters and critics – grassroots advocates on one side, state officials like New Hampshire’s chief banking regulator on the other – and in a vote early last month, the state House of Representatives passed the measure and sent to the Senate.
When reached, Senate representative told CoinDesk the bill earlier today passed by a 13-10 vote, and it now goes to Governor Chris Sununu for signature.
Public records show that the Senate’s Commerce Committee – which considered the bill before advancing it to the full chamber – gave their nod of approval despite pleas from officials in the state to either amend or reject the bill outright.
During a hearing earlier this month, representatives from both the New Hampshire Banking Department and Department of Justice argued against the bill. Their testimony was in sharp contrast with both grassroots supporters and the bill’s sponsors in the House, who argued that the exemption would benefit the state in the long run.
New Hampshire’s push toward digital currency regulation is unique among efforts in other US states, which have largely seen legislative actions that lean toward more scrutiny of digital currency activities.
New Hampshire State House image via Shutterstock