The BitLicense, which went into force in August 2015, was the first regulatory framework in the United States aimed specifically at bitcoin enterprises.

It governs a wide variety of crypto operations, including bitcoin transmission, exchange services, and the issuance of digital assets.

A BitLicense is necessary for any New York resident engaging in regulated bitcoin operations, as well as any non-resident person or other business engaging in such activities with New York residents. Individuals who make or receive cryptocurrency payments, on the other hand, are exempt. BitLicense sparked outrage in the crypto community at its initial release and continues to do so.

Many crypto firms argue that the regime imposes unjustifiably onerous restrictions and duties and that the cost of applying for the BitLicense (estimated to be at least $100,000) is punitive.

When the restrictions went into effect in 2015, at least ten crypto-related firms stated that they would suspend all trading activity in New York. Indeed, just a few firms have gotten BitLicenses since its inception. Regardless of industry reaction, BitLicense is an important component of a broader attempt by worldwide politicians to regulate cryptocurrency – a sector that is naturally resistant to governmental intervention.

However, as recent events demonstrate — such as the pushback from central banks to Facebook's Libra project - stronger control of cryptocurrencies and decentralized technology, in general, appears unavoidable.

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