Earlier today Superintendent Ben Lawsky of the Financial Services for the State of New York announced on Twitter that the New York Department of Financial Services will extend the BitLicense comment period for an additional 45 days, bringing the comment period to 90 total days.
The deadline, which the NYDFS says could still be extended even further if material changes are made (which will almost definitely be the case), is now set at October 21.
— Ben Lawsky (@BenLawsky) August 21, 2014
This much expected announcement comes after a number of organizations and individuals sent requests and petitions to the NYDFS asking for such extensions, and is no doubt appreciated by the community.
The NYDFS posted the following on their webpage regarding the comment period extension:
“There has been a significant amount of public interest in and commentary on DFS’ proposed regulatory framework for virtual currency firms. A number of groups and individuals have also requested additional time to study the proposal given that it is the first of its kind and could potentially serve as a model for other jurisdictions. As such, DFS has doubled the length of the initial comment period for its proposed Virtual Currency regulatory framework to 90 days from 45 days. Comments will now be due October 21, 2014.”
The NYDFS is encouraging people to continue sending comments regarding the BitLicense proposal to DFS Office of General Counsel – Dana V. Syracuse, New York State Department of Financial Services, One State Street, New York, NY 10004, email: [email protected]
In a CoinDesk interview with Lawsky released today, he said that while the agency would like to move quickly to implement the policies, they do not want to do so at risk of getting crucial parts wrong.
Lawsky told CoinDesk, “We’re not the kind of agency that thinks we have a monopoly on the truth and that we’re always right. We feel strongly about a lot of the provisions in the proposed regulations, but we get that there might be things we can improve.”
He also said that the laws are intended to relate only to financial intermediaries and financial service providers, not software providers as many have assumed, which is comforting to know.
Lawsky continued in the CoinDesk interview, “I think that gives us an additional responsibility to do our very best to get it right, and the best way to get something right is to try and get as many viewpoints as you can when you put a complicated regulatory framework, consider them carefully and make the best decisions possible.”
“I think the most surprising thing has been that certain provisions in the regulation that I think when we drafted it initially that we thought would be pretty clear in terms of the breadth, were read by some much more broadly than we intended.”
Lawsky also said the NYDFS does not plan on requiring every software provider to seek approval for each new piece of software, and said that he could see how the original wording could have been interpreted that way.
So it sounds as if the NYDFS intends to make some serious revisions to their proposals in order to provide further clarification. Only time will tell if these changes will satisfy the community’s wishes or if Lawsky is simply pandering to the community to quell discontent.