Lawmakers consider regulating currencies like Bitcoin

BISMARCK, N.D. - State lawmakers are taking the time to consider a study to figure out the feasibility and desirability of regulating virtual currency in North Dakota.

Virtual currencies, like Bitcoin, are forms of money not backed by a government, exist only online and are valued based on trust in the system.

Originally, the bill would have set up a process to license services that maintain control of online currencies.

Lawmakers say some companies have requested that the process be set up.

"If they do any other business relating to US currency, a lot of times they'll do both, and if they do any US currency money transmission, then they require a license. And we've indicated that we are going to bring this to the legislature for some type of direction," says Aaron Webb, Department of Financial Institutions.

The bill to conduct a study passed unanimously in the Senate, but a House committee has given it a unanimous Do Not Pass recommendation.