By Karen Freifeld and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York state issued on Wednesday its final rules for virtual currencies such as bitcoin, easing regulations on the type of companies that could apply for a license.
Benjamin Lawksy, superintendent of financial services for the state of New York, said the new digital currency rules known as the "BitLicense" will focus on overseeing financial intermediaries only. Lawsky made the remarks on Wednesday at the BITS Emerging Payments Forum in Washington.
"There is a basic bargain that when a financial company is entrusted with safeguarding customer funds and receives a license from the state to do so – it accepts the need for heightened regulatory scrutiny to help ensure that a consumer’s money does not just disappear into a black hole," said Lawsky.
As a result, the new rules would not apply to software developers, individual users, customer loyalty programs and gift cards, currency miners, nor to merchants accepting it as a payment.
(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Karen Freifeld; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)