I’m from New York. I was born and raised in Manhattan, and spent over thirty years there. I want New York to succeed, and I want to see it expand available opportunities for its millions of residents. Almost 50% of people in the greater NYC area are below the poverty line. We have some of the greatest income inequality in the world, and a vast burdened system of entitlements barely keeping the peace.

You see, New York has a problem. Government. Sprawling Byzantine regulation is choking the city, as stifling as any pollution, gumming up industry and robbing the city of innovation. If you manage to navigate this artificial maze, you are further squashed by crippling taxes.

Like the legendary Sisyphus, tasked with rolling a boulder up a hill that can never be summited, new business is forced to wage an uphill battle. In a state that desperately needs more jobs, entrepreneurial activity brings wealth. We can’t have that.

The “Bit License” is a proposed law strictly regulating virtual currency companies, and is almost guaranteed to rob New York of billions of dollars in aggregate development. Spearheaded by bureaucrats, dreamt up by committee, and stinking of protectionism it’s fetid rotten core will deny New Yorkers the economic development they desperately need, while simultaneously reducing taxable revenue for the state and city.

Requirements such as having a full time CISO (chief information security officer) will simply increase the cost of doing business, and will make the city an unattractive place for fledgling technology companies. Similar bonding for held virtual currency and strict identity requirements beyond federal requisites will further stifle innovation. When did the empire state become the nanny state?

This is doubly a shame given that NY has so many unique attributes, and with even the tiniest degree of foresight could make significant inroads in digital currency. A solid educated workforce in the payments and financial industry. Direct access to the world’s most liquid capital markets. Close proximity to leading banks and financiers. A small but growing venture capital scene, and a smart tech community in the same vein as the late nineties silicon alley.

New York is often ranked with London as a if not the financial capital of the world. A fact that has made it complacent, lazy and greedy. New aggressive economies like Singapore and Hong Kong are poised to take that crown if we unduly burden ourselves with unnecessary and poorly thought out regulation. I’m not opposed to regulation per se, but I think the knee jerk reaction to these new technologies will only cement NY as an also ran in what promises to be a disruptive race. What if Netscape had been outlawed in the nineties? How much wealth has the Internet brought the United States?

I have an idea, how about we distill this down to a single line, “New York welcomes all digital currency businesses, and will provide tax incentives to get them to start here and help lift our citizenry from crippling and unnecessary poverty.” Oh, who am I kidding? Let’s ban soda while we’re at it.

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