CSBS and NASAA Release Guidance on Virtual Currency

Provides Consumers and Investors with Factors to Consider

WASHINGTON, DC (April 23, 2014)—The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), through its Emerging Payments Task Force, and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) released today Model State Consumer and Investor Guidance on Virtual Currency.

This model consumer guidance is designed to assist state regulatory agencies in providing consumers with information about virtual currency as well as what factors consumers should consider when transacting with or investing in virtual currencies.  The model guidance explains what virtual currency is, provides a list of risks consumers should consider when investing, and reminds consumers to research what sort of regulation, if any, would apply to virtual currency transactions or investments in their state.

Specifically, the guidance encourages consumers to consider the following before investing in virtual currency:

  • Do your homework.
  • Virtual currencies and companies dealing in virtual currencies may or may not be regulated.
  • Virtual currencies can be stolen or otherwise subject to cybercrime.
  • Virtual currencies are volatile in value.
  • Virtual currencies have been connected to criminal activities.
  • Virtual currency transactions may be taxable.

The Model State Consumer Guidance on Virtual Currency can be read here.

Background Information: 
In February 2014, state regulators, through CSBS, launched the Emerging Payments Task Force to take a comprehensive look at the changing payments landscape. The Task Force will seek to identify opportunities for a coordinated state approach to payments issues as well as promote compliance, security, and protection for consumers.

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CSBS Media Contacts:
Catherine Woody, Vice President of Media and Industry Relations, cwoody@csbs.org or 202.728.5733
Rockhelle Johnson, Senior Manager, Communications, rjohnson@csbs.org or 202.407.7156
Matt Longacre, Manager, Communications, mlongacre@csbs.org or 202.803.8091

NASAA Media Contact:
Bob Webster, Director of Communications, bw@nasaa.org or 202.737.0900

About CSBS:
The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) is the nationwide organization of banking regulators from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  State banking regulators supervise nearly 5,200 state‐chartered financial institutions.  Further, most state banking departments also regulate a variety of non-bank financial services providers, including mortgage lenders.  For more than a century, CSBS has given state supervisors a national forum to coordinate supervision of their regulated entities and to develop regulatory policy.  CSBS also provides training to state banking and financial regulators and represents its members before Congress and the federal financial regulatory agencies.

 About NASAA:
The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) is the oldest international organization devoted to investor protection.  NASAA’s membership consists of 67 state, provincial, and territorial securities administrators in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada and Mexico.  In the United States, NASAA is the voice of state securities agencies responsible for efficient capital formation and grass-roots investor protection.  For more information, visit www.nasaa.org.

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