Anti-BitLicense Lawsuit in New York Moves to Highest Court

Wilfred Michael 

Wilfred Michael

News reporter

23 September 2019,
Anti-BitLicense Lawsuit in New York Moves to Highest Court

A lawsuit originally filed in 2015 to kick against the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) decision to license and thereby regulate the activity of crypto-related firms has been moved to the State’s highest court.

The lawsuit by crypto entrepreneur, Theo Chino, and his company, Chino Ltd, took a twist last week after his lawyer, Pierre Ciric of the Ciric Law Firm filed a motion for leave to appeal.

Notably, the appeal comes more than a year after the New York State Supreme Court first ruled that the lawsuit should be dismissed, and now provides the opportunity for the New York Court of Appeals to rule on the matter.

An Overview of the BitLicense Lawsuit

Following the emergence of the crypto industry, the NYDFS in 2015 introduced a licensing requirement for crypto firms that wish to operate in New York or offer services to residents of the State.

The requirement, however, did not go down well with the whole crypto community with some crypto wallet providers and exchanges slamming the exorbitant cost (appr $50,000 to $100,000) needed to acquire the license as well as the accompanying regulatory scrutiny.

Others like Coinsource, though, recently moved to acquire the license from the NYDFS as the startup sought to roll out its Bitcoin ATMs in the state.

Meanwhile, it was a few months after the licensing rule was implemented that Theo Chino and his firm filed the lawsuit against the NYDFS. 

They alleged among other things that the regulatory body introduced the requirement out of its own initiative, and without the New York State Legislature’s mandate or instructions, in order to quash the growth of cryptocurrency-based businesses in New York.

The lawsuit also alleged that the regulation caused nearly every New York crypto startup to relocate since it created a complex and burdensome set of requirements that applicants and licensees must follow in order to simply operate in the State.

The matter is now due to move to the New York Court of Appeals on October 14 as per the latest filing, where a final decision will be made.


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