False Headlines Herald Bitcoin’s Death in New Hampshire

Bitcoin NH License Plate

Bitcoin is big in NH

This week, social media was exploding with various posts of a breathless, alarmist piece on a bitcoin news website called DinBits: “Bitcoin Sales Now Prohibited In the State of New Hampshire“. Things looked quite dire from the headline and the article itself was also misleading. “How could you liberty activists let this happen?”, cried many on the facebooks.

“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” – Bitcoin

There’s no doubt that HB 666 (yes, 666) is not a good bill. However, it did not prohibit the sales of bitcoin, as the headlines have claimed. What it actually does is adds a definition of “convertible virtual currency” to the “money transmitter” statutes. Money transmitters are companies doing business selling and sending “stored value”, which now includes virtual currency in New Hampshire.

Despite that broad definition, state banking department attorney Emilia Galdieri told the Union Leader (in a sane, excellent article on this) that the new statutory changes affect money transmitters, like Western Union, Coinbase, or MoneyGram, but is not aimed at person-to-person transactions, consumer-to-business, or bitcoin ATMs.

Keene's Bitcoin Vending Machine

Bitcoin Vending Machine at the All-New “Route 101 Local Goods” at 661 Marlboro Rd in Keene

Somehow, the changes did sneak under the libertarians’ radar, which is a hard thing to do in NH, where we have the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance that has a batch of volunteers reviewing as many bills as possible each year. However, they didn’t spot this one, which means they need more help! Even if you’re outside of NH, you can volunteer for the NH Liberty Alliance and review some bills.

NH’s liberty and bitcoin activists are not happy they were caught off-guard on this and are already working to repeal it and help protect bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies into the future. If you are one of the people who’s acting shocked that this could happen in the “Free state”, I’d like to remind you that despite the amazing groundwork the early movers for the Free State Project have laid here, the official move has yet to begin. This is not a free place yet – it’s just better off than others and a good starting point for a freedom movement. We need more people to join the FSP and move to New Hampshire. The FSP is nearing 90% of our goal of 20,000 liberty activists pledging to move to NH, so completion is right around the corner. If you’ve been on the fence about joining the most amazing and successful liberty migration, just DO IT.

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