Maryland Regulators Release Consumer Guidance on Bitcoin and other Virtual Currencies


Commissioner of Financial Regulation Mark Kaufman and Attorney General Doug Gansler advise consumers to be cautious with digital and crypto-currency

Baltimore, MD (April 25, 2014) – The Maryland Division of Financial Regulation and the Office of the Attorney General Securities Division today released an Advisory Notice to Maryland residents strongly urging that “buyers beware” when it comes to virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin. The advisory released today was developed by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) and is intended to provide Maryland residents with information about virtual currencies and factors to consider when buying, selling, transacting with or investing in virtual currencies.

“Virtual currencies, including Bitcoin, involve inherent risks that residents need to consider prior to deciding to transact with or invest in these currencies,” said Mark Kaufman, Commissioner of Financial Regulation. “The entities that accept and transmit, or exchange virtual currencies for U.S. dollars are subject to federal law, and may be subject to state law, including the requirement to be licensed as a money transmitter. While we are examining these issues with our colleagues in other states and at the federal level, it is important to be clear that currently, Maryland does not regulate virtual currencies.”

“As with any other financial transaction or investment, consumers should understand and check out both the venture and the people they’re doing business with before dealing with virtual currencies,” said Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler. “For now, there is little to no regulation and no safety net for consumers or investors who lose their money dabbling in virtual currency such as Bitcoin.”

The CSBS Advisory Notice is available online.

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