Crypto and Florida

As a new week comes in 2022, new progress is made for currencies in the State level within the US.

Back in 2019, there was a landmark case in the Florida House (Florida v. Espinoza) which concluded that an individual who wished to sell Bitcoin must obtain a license to do so.

*The synopsis of Florida v. Espinoza – Miami Beach Police Department – MBPD – conducted an operation in which they went to Mr Espinoza to purchase Bitcoin with cash under the ruse/constant reassurance that the bitcoin was going to be used to conduct ‘illicit activities’. A follow up, identical operation was conducted against Mr Espinoza to which it was emphasized that the Bitcoin would be used to purchase stolen Credit Card numbers. This was determined to be satisfactory in their conclusion that people who wish to sell cryptocurrencies require state sponsored licenses to do so.*

** “The court also concluded Espinoza was acting as a money transmitter. Under the Florida statute, a money transmitter is an entity that “receives currency, monetary value, or payment instruments for the purpose of transmitting the same by any means….” [8] Espinoza argued he fell outside this definition because he did not receive payment for the bitcoin for the purpose of transmitting the same to a third party. The court disagreed.” (2019)(KL&GATES) **

Fast forward to 2022. Florida house introduces CS/HB 237. This bill directly voids all regulation put forth in the Espinoza Case. More specifically:

*** “Revises provisions related to violations of money services business activities & penalties for such violations; revises provisions related to certain prohibited activities without license; revises requirements for money transmitter or payment instrument seller to conduct business; revises requirements for written contract between money transmitter or payment instrument seller & authorized vendor; provides requirements for money transmitter that receives virtual currency; excludes virtual currency in calculation of permissible investments; revises recordkeeping requirements for money transmitter or payment instrument seller; revises financial liability requirements for money transmitter or payment instrument seller.” ***

Translation: Humans selling Cryptocurrencies are not ‘Transmitters’, therefore you can sell your coins as you please – in Flordia.

But in light of this development within Florida’s State Government, please reference this link to see all current & ongoing Cryptocurrency related legislation that are currently passing in your state. (Several states are currently not passing legislation at this moment.)

References:
Fox Business – https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/bitcon-4-11-22

New York Times – https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/10/us/politics/crypto-industry-states-legislation.html

KLGATES – https://www.klgates.com/Trouble-in-Paradise-Florida-Court-Rules-that-Selling-Bitcoin-is-Money-Transmission-02-13-2019

Florida Politics – https://floridapolitics.com/archives/505327-to-the-moon-house-passes-bill-to-deregulate-crypto-trading/

Florida’s House/Gov Website CS/HB273 – https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=73432&SessionId=93

NCLS – https://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/cryptocurrency-2022-legislation.aspx

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