Cryptocurrency has been a hot topic of discussion in recent years, with many people investing in it and many others still hesitant about its legality. Maryland is one of the states in the United States where the legality of cryptocurrency is a complex issue. In this blog post, we will explore the legality of cryptocurrency in Maryland.
Maryland’s regulations on cryptocurrency:
Maryland has taken steps to regulate cryptocurrency, but there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding its legality. As of October 1, 2021, the definition of “money transmission” in Md. Code, Fin. Inst. § 12-401(n)(1) includes “currency or value that substitutes for currency,” which provides for digital currency. Companies that deal with virtual currencies must register with the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation and comply with anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations.
Maryland’s Financial Consumer Protection Commission was also mandated to study cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, and blockchain technologies in 2018. Two bills, House Bill 1634 and Senate Bill 1068, before the Maryland legislature were passed and took effect on October 1, 2018.
In addition to state regulations, the federal government has also taken steps to regulate cryptocurrency. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued guidance in 2013 stating that virtual currencies, including Bitcoin, are considered money transmitters and are subject to the same regulations as traditional money transmitters. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance in 2015 stating that virtual currencies are treated as property for tax purposes. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a statement in 2018 that some cryptocurrencies may be considered securities and would therefore be subject to federal securities laws. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued guidance in 2019 stating that virtual currencies are commodities and are subject to the same regulations as other commodities, such as oil or gold.
In conclusion, while cryptocurrency is not illegal in Maryland, it is subject to various regulations by different government agencies. Companies that deal with virtual currencies must register with the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation, comply with AML and KYC regulations, and may be subject to federal regulations by FinCEN, the IRS, the SEC, and the CFTC. The legality of cryptocurrency in Maryland is a complex issue that is still evolving, and individuals and companies need to stay informed about the latest regulations and