New Hampshire Crypto Regulations
Written by: Mary McCarthy
In terms of digital asset regulation, New Hampshire opted to amend existing legislation. New Hampshire amended its Money Transmitter statute (NH St. § 399-G:3) to exempt “persons who engage in the business of selling or issuing payment instruments or stored value solely in the form of convertible virtual currency or receive convertible virtual currency for transactions to another location” from the state’s money transmission regulation. See H.B. 436, 2017 Leg.,165th Sess. (N.H. 2017). The law took effect on August 1, 2017. The goal of the change was to protect individuals who exchange digital assets for U.S. dollars.
As of 2016, cryptocurrency sellers were formally recognized as “money transmitters” in New Hampshire. With the change, individuals and businesses dealing with cryptocurrency transactions are required to be appropriately licensed. Money transmission is formally defined in the bill as either selling/issuing payment instruments or storing value and receiving currency or monetary value for transmission from one location to another. All parties must be licensed and bonded as registered exchangers to exchange blockchain-based cryptocurrencies for another currency in New Hampshire. Individual investors who hold and use digital assets for their own use do not have to become licensed money transmitters. New Hampshire has essentially followed in the footsteps of federal regulations for cryptocurrency and digital assets. Recently the FBI conducted a raid wherein six individuals were arrested in New Hampshire for unlicensed cryptocurrency exchanges. The individuals violated state and federal laws pertaining to the necessary licenses and processes for money transmitting. Going forward, the SEC is eager to provide clear regulations that serve to protect investors and curb white-collar digital asset-based crimes like money laundering.
Higgins, S. (2017, June 7). New Hampshire Governor Signs Bitcoin MSB Exemption Into Law. CoinDesk. https://www.coindesk.com/new-hampshire-governor-signs-bitcoin-msb-exemption-law.
Klein, A. (2021, March 16). FBI Arrests 6 Over NH Cryptocurrency Business. NBC Boston. https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/fbi-arrests-6-over-nh-cryptocurrency-business/2330422/.
Lance, V. (2016, March 21). State Regulation Changes the Game for Bitcoin Sellers in New Hampshire. CoinDesk. https://www.coindesk.com/state-regulation-changes-the-game-for-bitcoin-in-new-hampshire. Virtual currencies and new exchange systems. Virtual Currency. (n.d.). https://www.nh.gov/banking/consumer-assistance/virtual-currency.htm.