[s]”, one that could be adjusted to incorporate transactions involving bitcoin or other digital currencies. Bitcoin itself is named once in the application, along with litecoin and peercoin. Its submission is perhaps unsurprising, given Western Union’s prior interest in patents related to the tech and its partnership with distributed ledger startup Ripple, first unveiled in April 2015.
Amazon, Walmart and Western Union BitLicense Comments Revealed-
The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has today made public over 3,700 comments it received regarding its BitLicense proposal. The move provides new insight into the organisations and individuals that have taken an interest in the proposed regulation.
Perhaps most notably, the full release included submissions from some of the largest businesses in the US, including e-commerce giant Amazon, retail juggernaut Walmart and global remittance specialist Western Union.
The filings suggest that the BitLicense is being interpreted broadly by the legal representatives of these companies, and that greater clarity is needed by the NYDFS to indicate the entities and financial products covered under the measure.
Clarity and oversight– By comparison, Western Union submitted a much lengthier comment on the proposal, arguing that more oversight should be given to bitcoin ATM kiosks, and that more clarity should be added to the document to specify what indirect financial activities would be considered as supportive of virtual currency transmission.
Further, Western Union expressed its interest that businesses that fall under the BitLicense be made to comply with all existing anti-money laundering (AML) requirements in addition to any new measures necessary given the risks associated with virtual currency transmission.
“Western Union believes that the NYDFS’ additional AML requirements for virtual currency transactions should mirror current federal AML requirements for fiat currency transactions,” the filing reads. “This approach would permit VC Licensees to draw upon existing federal regulatory guidance and the knowledge of AML compliance personnel for purposes of determining how to comply with such requirements, where applicable.”
Western Union ‘Exploring’ Pilot Program With Ripple Labs– Global remittance giant Western Union is reportedly working on a pilot program with distributed payment protocol provider Ripple Labs.
The news was first revealed in a tweet by Ripple Labs promoting CEO Chris Larsen’s appearance at Global Conference 2015, an annual event held by non-profit think tank the Milken Institute.
The pilot was further confirmed by Monica Long, VP of marketing and communications at Ripple Labs, who told CoinDesk that while Western Union is “exploring a pilot project using Ripple”, no further details on the initiative were available.