Virtual currency, also known as digital currency, is a medium of exchange not authorized or adopted by a government. There are many different digital currencies being used over the internet, the most commonly known being a crypto-currency named Bitcoin. In Washington, digital currency is included in the definition of "Money Transmission" in the Uniform Money Services Act (UMSA), chapter 19.230 RCW.
Washington State DFI has been among the forefront of state regulators when it comes to understanding emerging payment systems, including those that use virtual currencies. As part of a nationwide task force, DFI has worked with various payment system providers to create sound regulatory standards and practices within existing law. DFI strives to protect businesses and consumers while not unnecessarily impeding the development of new technologies that might improve existing payments systems or create alternative payment systems.
Regulation and Guidance
- Virtual Currency Regulation in Washington
About virtual currency regulation in Washington.
- Virtual Currency Interim Guidance
This Interim Guidance expresses the Division of Consumer Services interpretation of the Washington Uniform Money Services Act, chapter 19.230 RCW (Act) , as it applies to various business activities involving virtual currency (also known as digital currency), including Bitcoin.
- The Risks of Buying, Investing in and Trading Virtual Currencies
Alert from the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions about the risks of buying, investing in, and trading virtual currencies.
- Tax Information from the Washington Department of Revenue
Answers to frequently asked questions about taxes.
Emerging Payments Task Force
The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) established an Emerging Payments Task Force. DFI is a member of the Task Force. Details about the Task Force, its mission and its Draft Model Regulatory Framework for Virtual Currencies are below:
- Draft Model Regulatory Framework
- Submitting Public Comment on the Framework
- CSBS Press Release Announcing Draft Model Regulatory Framework
Information for Consumers
- Informed Investor Advisory: Virtual Currency
Information from the North American Securities Administrators Association discussing the risks associated with investing in virtual currencies.
- Risks to Consumers Posed by Virtual Currencies
Information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about the risks of virtual currencies.