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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 24-542




[ 10 PA. CODE CH. 19 ]

Virtual Currency—Statement of Policy

[54 Pa.B. 2092]
[Saturday, April 20, 2024]

 The Department of Banking and Securities (Department) adds § 19.1a (relating to virtual currency—statement of policy) to clarify the Department's interpretation of the term ''money'' in the act of September 2, 1965 (P.L. 490, No. 249) (7 P.S. §§ 6101—6118), referred to as the Money Transmission Business Licensing Law and commonly known as the Money Transmitter Act (act) to read as set forth in Annex A. This statement of policy is intended to provide guidance to the regulated community regarding the meaning of the term ''money'' in the act.

Effective Date

 This statement of policy shall take effect October 15, 2024.

Statutory Authority

 The statement of policy is issued under the authority of section 10(a)(4) of the act (7 P.S. § 6110(a)(4)), which states that the Department shall have the authority to ''[i]ssue regulations, statements of policy or orders as may be necessary for the proper conduct, including safety and soundness, of the money transmission business by licensees, the issuance and renewal of licenses and the enforcement of this act.''

 Section 102 of the Commonwealth Documents Law (45 P.S. § 1102) defines ''statement of policy'' as ''any document, except an adjudication or a regulation, promulgated by an agency which sets forth substantive or procedural personal or property rights, privileges, immunities, duties, liabilities or obligations of the public or any part thereof, and includes, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, any document interpreting or implementing any act of Assembly enforced or administered by such agency.'' Statements of policy that are general and permanent in nature are required to be codified in the Pennsylvania Code under 1 Pa. Code § 3.1 (relating to contents of Code).

Description of the Statement of Policy

 Section 2 of the act (7 P.S. § 6102) governs the business of transmitting money, and provides, ''[n]o person shall engage in the business of transmitting money by means of a transmittal instrument for a fee or other consideration with or on behalf of an individual without first having obtained a license from the department.'' Currently, the Department regulates these persons under Chapter 19 (relating to money transmitters).

 ''Money'' is defined in the act as ''currency or legal tender or any other product that is generally recognized as a medium of exchange.'' See 7 P.S. § 6101 (Emphasis added). Virtual currency is increasingly and widely accepted as a method of payment throughout the United States and can be used to purchase goods and services in thousands of physical locations and online. This statement of policy is intended to clarify to the regulated community that the Department includes virtual currency under its interpretation of ''money'' under the act and in Chapter 19 because virtual currency is a product that is generally recognized as a medium of exchange. In practice, this means that the Department expects that all persons engaged in the business of transmitting virtual currency by means of a transmittal instrument for a fee or other consideration will obtain a license from the Department, if they have not yet done so. Applications for licenses to transmit virtual currency may be completed through the National Multistate Licensing System and Registry in the same manner as all other money transmitter licenses. This statement of policy will be effective October 15, 2024, so that persons engaged in the business of transmitting virtual currency by means of a transmittal instrument for a fee or other consideration with or on behalf of an individual, who have not already obtained a license, will have sufficient time to take action in accordance with the Department's interpretation.

Fiscal Impact and Paperwork Requirements

 This statement of policy will have no adverse fiscal impact on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions and will impose no additional paperwork requirements upon the Commonwealth or political subdivisions. The Department does not track how many individuals are currently engaged in the business of transmitting virtual currency in the private sector. The cost for an individual to apply for a license is $5,000, and the cost for a license renewal is $5,000. Money transmitters must renew their licenses annually. Paperwork requirements for the regulated community include the initial license application and the annual license renewal application.

Sunset Date

 A sunset date is not being established for this statement of policy.

Additional Information

 Persons who require additional information about this statement of policy may submit inquiries to the Chief Counsel, 17 North 2nd Street, Suite 1300, Harrisburg, PA 17101, (717) 787-1471 or


 (Editor's Note: Title 10 of the Pennsylvania Code is amended by adding a statement of policy in § 19.1a to read as set forth in Annex A.)

Fiscal Note: 3-60. No fiscal impact; recommends adoption.

Annex A




§ 19.1a. Virtual currency—statement of policy.

 (a) Purpose. The purpose of this statement of policy is to clarify for the regulated community the Department's current interpretation of the term ''money'' in the act.

 (b) Interpretation. For purposes of this chapter, the Department interprets the definition of ''money'' to include virtual currency, such as Bitcoin.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 24-542. Filed for public inspection April 19, 2024, 9:00 a.m.]

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