Bitcoin and Virtual Currency Regulation

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


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:

Information for Consumers