The American state of Pennsylvania does not recognize cryptocurrencies as money. Under the Money Transmitter Act (MTA), money is described as currency or legal tender, that is recognized as a medium of exchange.
A new document released by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities (DoBS) states the cryptocurrency is not subjected to the MTA. And it doesn’t recognize virtual currency trading platforms as money transmitters. “There is no transferring money from a user to another user or third party and the platform is not engaged in the business of providing payment services or money transfer services.”
It also has similar laws for cryptocurrency ATMs, vending machines and kiosks. “In both the one-way and two-way kiosk systems, there is no transfer of money to a third party. The user of the kiosk merely exchanges fiat currency for virtual currency and vice versa and there is no money transmission.”
Crypto enthusiasts argue that the digital currency is not being accepted for everyday purchases such as at the grocery store or supermarket because people and businesses are not open to it. Nick Saponaro, co-founder of The Divi Project said right now, there’s no easy way to buy, send or spend cryptocurrencies. New York University Finance Professor, Aswath Damodaran said the excitement of cryptocurrency as an investment is drowning out its ability to be a currency. CNBC highlighted Bitwala, a financial technology company, which will be opening a cryptocurrency bank to provide a digital currency debit card to account holders. “Users can pay for a restaurant meal with their card and the bank will automatically convert their Bitcoin into currency.”
However, while a handful are taking the initiative to recognize cryptocurrencies, many businesses and people are still very much attached to ‘money’ or fiat currency. Experts say payment apps and portals are where the future of money and payments are heading.