"I think a number of state banking departments are struggling with how to handle virtual money transactions," said
The commissioner's office wants "to make sure that everyone knows we are not trying to regulate the currency, and we're only concerned with the money transmitter part of it," said
And even then, only in instances where a third party is involved in facilitating a virtual currency transaction that involves at least one
Bitcoins and other virtual currencies are online currencies that allow people to make transactions to each other, or to buy goods and services or exchange money outside of traditional financial systems.
The use of virtual currencies has grown substantially over the past few years, including among speculative investors. Virtual currencies have also gotten the attention of the
There are "hundreds" of types of virtual currencies, Lobb said, and they are not legal tender.
"It's a very complex, convoluted situation," Schuster added.
Lobb said she thinks it was last spring when she began taking inquiries about
"We decided if we issued the guidance it was a little easier way" of handling the inquiries, Lobb said.
She said that from all the inquiries she's handled beginning last year, one organization that exchanges virtual currencies has filed an application for a money transmitter license in
Lobb is convinced that virtual currencies are here to stay.
"Unfortunately, it's not going away like most regulators had hoped," she said.
(c)2014 The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kan.)
Visit The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kan.) at www.kansas.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services