This is an open letter to all residents of the state of New York.
As those in the community may have heard, the BitLicense deadline has arrived and today over a dozen industry leading companies have announced they will no longer be able to serve New York customers.
For those reading this, we’d like to walk you through a shortened process of what it takes to apply for the BitLicense just so you are aware.
- You must have already registered with FinCEN and then complete the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) paperwork.
- Submit the 31-page application form and pay the first $5,000 application fee. This initial application must also include a 3rd party audit.
- All employees must be fingerprinted.
- The next phase of the application is reported to be 500 pages long. At this stage, the company must negotiate with the NYDFS to see how much their surety bond should be. Once agreed, that amount must be paid.
Those arguing against the BitLicense say that it’s impossible for small startups to comply with and we think they are right. Going through all these expensive applications makes it far too complicated and expensive for startups to comply, regardless of how important and significant New York state is.
We want to let you all know that we’re very sorry that you have to go through this.
Luckily, at Airbitz. We aren’t affected. We aren’t going anywhere. New York residents can use Airbitz just like anyone in the world can. It doesn’t matter where you are from — if you have access to internet, you can access Airbitz.
It doesn’t matter because we are decentralized. We don’t hold your money. We don’t hold your Bitcoin. You do. It’s in your control at all times. It’s expensive to hold someone else’s money and we will continue to see states pass bills like this for any companies that do.
With all the companies announcing these restrictions today, it should remind the community of the importance to be, and to support, decentralization. Bitcoin was intended to give people true control and access to their money and every time we use a centralized service, we aren’t truly using Bitcoin.
So don’t worry New York. You will always be able to find decentralized companies to work with. If the company has to comply with regulations, there is a good chance they maintain control of your money, and in the end that’s just not what Bitcoin was meant to be.