Florida - Virtual currency is a medium of exchange, it is not currency!

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—The Florida Senate Appropriations Committee has given approval to a bill that defines how Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could be sold or traded by money services companies in this state.

The committee unanimously sent Republican Sen. Jason Brodeur’s legislative attempt (SB 486) to define the rapidly-growing cryptocurrencies to the Senate floor.

The bill sets out to create legal distinctions differentiating how two people trading or selling cryptocurrencies with each other would be considered and treated differently from someone or a company acting as a broker or bank, Florida Politics reported.

Those conducting third-party transfers would be regulated as money services businesses governed by Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation, like other financial institutions.

Other Provisions

The bill would require the cryptocurrency money services businesses to meet various thresholds for holding real currency liquidity, having corporate surety bonds, and maintaining certain market values.

“The cryptocurrencies themselves would not count toward those thresholds. The bill defines them not as actual currency, but rather as something that has a measure of stored value that could be converted to currency. In other words, crypto assets would not count toward minimum balances of money that a money services business would have to have on hand,” Florida Politics explained.

“One of the things the bill does — importantly — it says that virtual currency is a medium of exchange; it is not currency,” Brodeur stated after the committee had unanimously approved his bill. “Things can have monetary value and not be a currency. We needed to say that in statute.”