Legislative Committee Votes to Amend Wyoming Money Transmission Act Exemption
The Wyoming Legislative Joint Minerals, Business, and Economic Development Committee voted today to sponsor LSO 180, an amendment to the Wyoming Money Transmitters Act (WMTA), which would support small business and startups by setting a $10,000 threshold amount before companies would need to be regulated and required to obtain various money transmission licenses.
Across the U.S., there are a total of 53 licenses needed for money transmission purposes. Under the current WMTA, businesses have to get a license in every state, with Montana being the exception, as it is the only state not governed by a money transmission act.
Licenses can carry hefty bond requirements ranging from around $10,000 to $1 million per state, which can limit the growth of small business and startups. According to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), money services businesses, or more commonly known as MSBs, offer one or more financial products or services that involves money transmission services.
MSBs denote exchange of currency, funds, or other value substitutes in various capacities such as currency dealer or exchanger, check casher, issuer of traveler’s checks, money orders, or stored value, seller or redeemer of traveler’s checks, money orders, or stored value, money transmitter, and the United States Postal Service with exceptions being postage or philanthropic product sales.
Larger examples of known MSBs are Western Union, PayPal, and Venmo. If a business buys and sells Bitcoin, then it is technically a money transmitter and classified as an MSB. MSBs are required to register with FinCEN.
Basically, Chris Rothfuss, Democrat senator from Albany County, said this amendment would bring Wyoming in compliance with national guidelines of a $10,000 threshold.
“It’s important to realize that our Money Transmitters Act is based on certain federal requirements under FinCEN that our money transmitter act complies with,” he said. “However, some of the things that we didn’t implement previously is the small business exemptions, so this is conforming our statute with existing federal allowances for that small business exemption.”
The amendment will be presented at the next legislative session in January 2020, and changes to the amendment may be made any time before the final vote.
For information on crypto compliance, visit BitAML’s recent article here.