Below is a summary of some of the significant legal and regulatory actions that occurred over the past week. This alert is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all such developments, but rather a selection of publicly-reported news that may be of particular interest.
New York Issues BitLicense. The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has issued its first BitLicense to Circle Internet Financial. The DFS expects more approvals soon. “We are trying to move expeditiously,” said Matthew Anderson, the deputy superintendent for public affairs at the DFS.
Mexico. Mexico’s finance ministry has placed restrictions on transactions involving bitcoin. The ministry stated that bitcoin will be subject to the restrictions placed on transactions involving cash or precious metals. Virtual goods are now included in Article 32 of Mexico’s LFPIORPI, which is the country’s federal law governing transactions involving illicit goods. One provision states that in certain circumstances, cash and precious metals cannot be used to purchase property or goods.
Venezuela. According to multiple reports, Venezuela’s state-owned Internet-service provider (CANTV) has blocked several bitcoin websites. Included in the reported censorship are bitcoin exchanges, bitcoin news sites, and bitcoin mining sites. CANTV, the country’s largest ISP, has been known to conduct similar censorship activities in the past, then publicly claims that it was due to a platform error. This is a developing story.