New Jersey Introduces Digital Asset and Blockchain Technology Act to Its State Senate

  • New digital assets bill to govern crypto activities and VASPs
  • Digital Asset and Blockchain Technology Act, to be enacted by the Senate and General Assembly

In New Jersey, lawmakers are edging closer to implementing a bill to govern cryptocurrency business activities in the state and put in place a mandatory licensing framework. The bill, introduced to the state Senate in November, sponsored by Democratic Party senator for New Jersey's 35th Legislative District, Nellie Pou, aims to put similar regulations and licensing procedures to New York’s BitLicense application launched in 2015.

The bill proposal states that digital asset exchanges and firms operating in New Jersey require a license to carry out their business or apply for a license. The bill states that the law will apply to any digital asset business situated in the state or engaging businesses “on behalf of a resident.”

However, the bill allows a business that has registered with other states that have a reciprocity agreement with New Jersey to operate in the state legally.

Businesses will have to apply for a license, similar to New York’s BitLicense, to provide any digital asset services, including sending, receiving, sales, storage, borrowing, lending, or staking services. Any business running a business in the state illegally, if the bill is passed, will be liable to a daily fine of $500 until the license is obtained.

The bill has since been sent to Senate Commerce Committee for approval following an earlier introduction of the bill to the state’s General Assembly in February this year by an Assembly member, Yvonne Lopez.

New Jersey is following in its neighboring state's footsteps, New York, which introduced the BitLicense in 2015 to license digital asset service providers. New Jersey has hastened the process of coming up with its own bill following the launch of a blockchain initiative task force in August 2019.

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