Following Bitcoin Fraud Charges


The New York State Comptroller’s office has expressed concerns regarding potential deficiencies in the Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) regulation of the cryptocurrency industry. According to a recent report, the comptroller has raised doubts about the effectiveness of the DFS’ BitLicense program, which requires all crypto companies to obtain a license from the state.

One of the main concerns highlighted in the report is the possibility of insufficient vetting of applicants and lack of continuous monitoring of licensees’ financial stability and cybersecurity. This is due to a four-year delay between the submission of anti-money laundering risk assessments by license applicants and the approval process. This delay raises concerns about the accuracy of information used in the decision-making process.

Moreover, the report questions the cybersecurity credentials of existing licensees, given the industry’s susceptibility to theft and fraud. Despite the DFS updating its cyber standards last year, the comptroller recommends further action to address any identified shortcomings and ensure timely safety examinations.

The report’s summary states that there is limited assurance that the DFS is effectively overseeing BitLicenses, creating a risk of licenses being granted without proper verification of financial stability or adherence to standards once licensed. This raises doubts about New York’s ability to act as an efficient industry watchdog, especially with the increasing focus on cryptocurrency regulation at the national level.

In addition to this, the comptroller also notes the need for continuous monitoring of licensees’ practices to address any identified gaps. The BitLicense program is widely considered to be one of the most stringent state regulations for virtual currencies, but it is crucial to ensure that licensees are adhering to the necessary standards at all times.

In conclusion, the New York State Comptroller’s report highlights the need for robust oversight of the cryptocurrency industry, and the DFS must take necessary steps to address the identified deficiencies and ensure effective regulation.

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