In the first part of this two-part article we provided a basic understanding of digital currency and various sites to access to obtain a much more detailed review if desired. In the second part, we cover the regulations, recent developments, and why this is an area that credit unions should be monitoring.

Regulation is Coming

As one author indicates it is a Wild West out there. Just take a look at the various agencies and departments of the U.S. government that have weighed in.

  • Department of Defense – wants it further investigated as they believe it is being used by the terrorist community.
  • Department of Homeland Security – seized nearly $3 million from a business account at a credit union over what the DHS said was an unlicensed money transmitting business.
  • FBI – In its complaint against Silk Road, called Silk Road "the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet today," used by several thousand drug dealers transacting in bitcoin.
  • Federal Election Commission – says that it can be accepted by campaign treasurers to add to campaign financing war chests.
  • FinCEN – See above.
  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) – Similar to SEC Alert below.
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS Notice 2014.21) – You better be paying taxes on bitcoin profits as they are like property. Using bitcoin to buy goods and services will in most cases trigger a taxable event, which becomes a new concept in tax reporting. Section 4 of this notice has 16 frequently asked questions and answers.
  • NCUA – Just added Schedule E Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Information. Can the adding of tracking altcoin activity be that far behind?
  • New York Department of Financial Services – issued a proposed regulation for comment for operating digital currency exchanges in the State of New York.
  • North American Securities Administrators Association – includes digital currency on its list of top ten threats to investors.
  • SEC – The SEC warns about investing and that it is risky. Bitcoin does not have a track record of trust. It does not neatly fit under the SEC's jurisdiction. For anyone who wishes to determine if their investment advisor is licensed and/or registered, they could check the SEC's Investment Advisor Public Disclosure website or FINRA's BrokerCheck website.
  • U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission – I do not think we need to regulate everything, but we need to be more proactive in looking into things. We will be studying bitcoin to see if it fits into the commodities mold.

Recent Developments in Bitcoin Activity

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