Bitcoin ATMs in Nevada now require a money transmitter license

Bitcoin ATMs in Nevada now requires a state money transmitter license.

The Nevada Financial Institutions Division has issued an official statement on the matter.

“Any entity that facilitates the transmission of or holds fiat or digital currency by way of brick-and-mortar, kiosk, mobile, internet or any other means, should contact the NFID to request a licensure determination,” the agency said.

Interested parties can find the requirements for a money transmitter license posted on the state’s website.

Businesses must apply to obtain a license and meet a series of requirements. Included in the list is a surety bond requirement, starting at $10,000 for the first location and $5,000 for each additional location in the state. Bond requirements max out at $250,000.

Paid to the state, a surety bond provides a financial guarantee that a business owner will abide by certain laws and regulations.

According to Coin ATM Radar, a site that tracks the machines, Nevada currently has 110 bitcoin ATMs. There are more than 5,500 bitcoin ATMs in the world, with the majority of those (3,500) located in the US.

The blockchain, bitcoin, and virtual currency industries across the US have to comply with diverse requirements on the state level. Thus, the Nevada Department of Business and Industry is in charge of regulating these growing and ever-evolving fields on its territory. It has to ensure that citizens’ interests are protected and that the financial industry is developing to the highest standards. To this end, the Financial Institutions Division has been issuing money transmitter licenses under Chapter 671 of the Nevada Revised Statutes on a case-by-case basis.

During the last legislative season, lawmakers in Nevada attempted to introduce Senate Bill 195, which would have created a new statutory license program for virtual currencies. However, the bill did not pass. Thus, the Division brought in its own interpretation of current laws. Cryptocurrency operators now fall under the definition of conducting “business of selling or issuing checks or of receiving for transmission or transmitting money or credits,” as noted in the existing statutes.

As there are no specific license types for handling bitcoin and other virtual currencies, applicants have to contact the Division to establish the exact license determination. It has to examine the business model of the company and thus set under which statute the licensing can be executed.

Additional licensing requirements include providing personal and business information, completing the application forms, and paying relevant fees, which include a $375 license fee and a $300 annual assessment fee.

Nevada legislators have noted they will not penalize operators who don’t comply immediately. However, they plan to notify bitcoin ATM businesses in the next six months, if they have not initiated their licensing.

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