Maidsafe and New York bitlicense

Does anyone know how New York bitlicense does affect Maidsafe and applications developed on the SAFE network? Do you need to comply or are there ways around it (for example if your application accepts safecoins but you don’t hold them for app users, instead for short periods in small amounts in escrow, do you need to comply?).

Without going into any specifics of the license (which I only know a few bits and pieces about), it seems kind of irrelevant whether you comply or not because who’s going to know you own that app, or if that app is accessed from New York. Of course if you’re shouting from the treetops that you own the app in question then that’s perhaps slightly different, but it’s not like you can cut off geographical regions from being serviced (like Poloniex and other exchanges have done for New York) and that changes things quite a bit.

It would seem really strange if exchanges, shops etc. which serve the US will have to all be based outside (or just done in secret) - a strange old world for sure. Will be interesting to think about what effect (if any really) laws are going to have on how we use our shiny new network!


Bitcoin doesn’t have one.

SAFE will have zero idea who it’s customers are or where. (just like bitcoin)

Generally the BitLicsense applies to exchanges that hold funds on behalf of customers I.E. Exchanges or Banks (like coinbase)… I don’t think it will apply to SAFE. It may apply to some businesses that would like to run on SAFE, but not safe itself.

Anyway, If NY wanted to enforce it, they couldn’t… Once launched, SAFE cannot be shutdown unless the entire network dies of boredom.



It likely doesn’t, but whatever the answer it simply shouldn’t matter to you because you’d be a fool to engage in business (not a hobby) without checking with a real lawyer.


As MaidSafe we don’t have any business premises etc. in the USA and I am not sure we ever would. All devs though will need to be careful of such issues, it’s a very fast moving landscape politically. Ofc myself I see it as a bit of a nonsense so far and would try and steer clear of having any business premises in an area where there is doubt over legality issues as there is too much else to think of.

I suspect the SAFE network will bring a whole load of bewilderment in these areas as KYC etc. is OK when you are relying on the older ways of working and this is potentially a completely new way.

In any case we could go on for a while pontificating, but MaidSafe is OK for now and NY based devs may need to be careful if they develop apps and get paid … or do they ? It may depend on how the app is used, can it potentially be a money transmitter or whatever else comes under the bitlicense suite of rules?

It’s worth taking care if you are starting an actual business for sure and as @janitor says, seek legal advice to play the game they want played. Otherwise as a dev who gets paid, then it may be a different ruleset all together, depending on those who govern your business.


Not sure technically but common sense impression is that Bit License is to gain some command over the Blockchain. And it seems more a question for an accountant than a lawyer. Unless there’s a lot of money being made then eventually it will get looked at. But how are they ever going to track a Law that isn’t in the Maidsafe system? As I’m not developing an app its easy to think its a negligible concern. However I am thinking like a small business person. If you do make ginormous bucks, you’ll be happy to pay the fine that’s probably going to be waived as its all new territory.

Lest we just guess:

Once you read that there are a couple of areas to guess, but at least we can make educated guesses…

Generally laws mean whatever the governments decide they want them to mean. Anybody’s guess. A lawyer will probably always tell you to take the conservative approach and pay up or run.

From my reading of the bitlicense, it is legislation to attempt to include digital currency into the financial dealings laws. Basically to make digital currency dealers (exchanges buyers/sellers etc) adhere to similar regulations that traditional currency dealers have to.

I could not see any attempt to control the blockchain as such, but to control the dealers in the digital currency. Of course the government over time will be introducing laws to attempt to totally control digital currencies as they do their own currencies. But the decentralised nature will probability mean they will only succeed to control the points where digital currency is dealt with. Such dealings would include exchanges, buying/selling currency, using it to buy/sell goods and so on.

So far in Australia they are holding off regulating, but the Financial department claims that they know all about every purchase/sale of BitCoin from/to AUD because they claim all transactions will involve money out/into a bank account. Basically the AU government & departments are really saying they know more than absolutely nothing, and not enough to be at the dangerous stage.


Its not like its not been expressed many times before, but decentralized or not, reaching a critical mass with tech like SAFE as quickly as possible matters a lot.

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Thanks for all the views. I guess keeping development out of NY and something like a disclaimer that New York residents can’t use the app is the best you can do, but there wouldn’t be a way to check or enforce.

After David commented above, you’re still continuing with this nonsensical reasoning, but I know why: because you’ve never done any business and talk is cheap.
The fine will “probably” be waived. But maybe it won’t and you’ll end up sharing a cell with a big cuddly man.

Duh. That’s how you control the blockchain, by controlling all the major exit and entry points.

Another catastrophically clueless statement.

They don’t need to know enough. Triggers are set throughout the system. You get more than AU$ X wired to your bank account from your crypto-exchange, which automatically triggers a notification to the “relevant” authorities, including the local tax and FINCEN people.

Then they learn all they need to know about you in no time.

You read what I said wrong. They don’t know enough to know that a lot of transactions are not through banks or other notifiable mechanism. In other words they have 1/2 the story for some, which also are businesses and/or operate through banks, but for many they have none of the story and no way of finding out without other tip offs

They do not even know how a lot of bitcoin transactions are happening.

Obviously I can only go on the reports made by the departments.And until they learn more my statement stands. That was my point, they are holding off for now.

That is like saying I control the Dam because I control my household tap the water comes out of and my own storm water drains.

Sorry the blockchain is not controlled by controlling the coin dealers in one (globally) small district, or even a number of them

Well, I’m not making stuff up.

If you’re a SMB you trade in some size (say, > AU$1,000 / month) and all your trades can be linked to your customer’s addresses. And records are kept for many years.

The government doesn’t need to investigate everyone who uses bitcoin (or other crypto-currency) in size, they just need to create a rule that you need to report all your trades. Then the burden and cost of this is on you. And if you don’t, then you’re on the record for tax evasion if not worse.

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Yes that obvious and did I say anything that exclude that situation. I have been a SMB owner and have had to comply to reporting rules. But under our tax system the ATO will not declare you a SMB for owning or selling digital currencies. Just like for shares.

If you become a trader then you will have to get an ABN, which is currently the case.

But they have publicly said they don’t know enough about digital currencies to propose regulations at this time. And they said they know ALL transactions. Well they were right about the first and wrong about the second. <— that is the current situation, not the future as you have used to belittle my remarks.

Yes for 10-20,000 AUD$ per year turnover but are not required to keep KYC records like name/addresses yet. (that is YET)

EDIT: as said before many transactions have the two buying/selling without exchanging name or addresses.

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Absolutely never done business in crypto-currencies which I believe is the general technical name for the Safecoin.
True that my mind is nowhere near a David nor Janitor but that “cheap talk” comment, must say this. It’s an honestly affordable way to learn. Which is why I’m following along. Here to learn.
The term ‘small business’ covers a wide range from cottage industry to publicly traded high valued companies. Working entrepreneurially is a very different specie than a corporate job. As the number of employees varies radically along with responsibility.
Thanks for the feedback. Talk to the accountant.

It’s about being prudent, that’s what I wanted to emphasize.

It’s easy to guesstimate when you don’t have your money (and more) on the line. But with these things (freak control mentality among today’s governments) you have to be careful and for the sake of inexperienced users who may think your advice is sound (although you wouldn’t listen to it if someone put you on the spot as the owner of a small business) possibly exercise some restraint when giving opinion on legal matters.

We’re not in a court and it’s not a big deal, but be aware that your comment may be taken as advice by some clueless reader. It would be his fault, not yours, but you probably wouldn’t want to learn that your advice (if not encouragement) help someone get themselves in trouble.

Again, you make a very sound case because I feel very dumb here amongst the cognoscenti. Really need the Beginners Banner on that says, food for thought not for action!
I do assume it’s readily apparent that I have a long bell curve at which I am near the bottom of. That said, not everyone will speak up and make a fool of themselves with comments that could be construed as inane and might be misunderstood as in fact knowing something.
Always always defer to @dirvine. He just has so much pressure on him seems like sharing conversation is a good idea.
My plan - which should be on my Banner - is that when the Sprints are done and public can Install version, to learn firsthand about buying Safecoin. translation without firsthand experience, there is no knowledge - just talk.
Moreover emphasis is on no skin in the game in terms of an App Dev. I do like the practice of asking questions and subscribe to, there is no dumb one.