Judge’s Decision to Delay Bitlicense Hearing Considered a ‘Positive Step’

Last April news.Bitcoin.com reported on Theo Chino, the lone bitcoin entrepreneur that’s been fighting the Bitlicense in court for two years. This week during Chino’s case hearing, Judge Carmen Victoria St. George, decided to delay the Bitlicense trial until January 11, 2018, so she can review records used by the previous judge.

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New York Judge Will Revisit the Bitlicense Case In 2018

Judge's Decision to Delay Bitlicense Hearing Considered a 'Positive Step'Judge St. George has pushed Theo Chino’s Bitlicense hearing date back and plans to revisit the case in 2018. Theo Chino is an entrepreneur that created a bitcoin merchant solution while residing in New York but had to cease operations due to the Bitlicense. Chino says the New York state Bitlicense hurt his business and he believes the entire law is filled with flaws. Chino is arguing for limited discovery on the economic nature of bitcoin, and thinks New York officials like the Bitlicense creator Ben Lawsky were too hasty with this legislation.

“There are significant and irreconcilable factual differences between the arguments presented by Plaintiff-Petitioner and by Defendants-Respondents which can only be resolved through limited discovery,” explains Theo Chino’s court filings.  

Those fundamental factual differences and disputes involve whether Bitcoin is a ‘financial product’ or service which impacts whether Defendants-Respondents had the authority to regulate Bitcoin, and whether Defendants-Respondents acted in an arbitrary and capricious fashion when they designed the Regulation.

‘A Good Move for the Judge to Parse Through Records’

This week news.Bitcoin.com spoke with Chino’s attorney Pierre Ciric who tells us he believes the judge’s decision is a positive step.

“The judge scheduled a new hearing for January 11, 2018,” Ciric explains. “First, the backlog of this judge is probably important, since she is getting all matters from our previous judge, Judge Billings — The docket is substantial.”

Furthermore, the record before the judge is complex. It appears to be a good move for the judge to give herself some time to parse throughout the record, given the complexity and the number of issues raised in the case.

Theo’s Claims Are Credible and Deserve Full Review

Judge's Decision to Delay Bitlicense Hearing Considered a 'Positive Step'
Theo Chino.

Ciric details that the one thing that was clear at the hearing was no one could determine a clear winner or loser. “So, the fact that the judge heard both sides and appeared to be intrigued by both sides shows at least that Theo’s claims are credible and deserve full review —  In that sense, this is considerable progress,” he adds.

At the rescheduled hearing a decision on two motions will be made, explains Chino’s lawyer. The New York state’s Department of Financial Services motion to dismiss and Theo’s motion for limited discovery, where he is seeking expert testimony from economist Paul Krugman. Ciric also details the nonprofit organization the Bitcoin Foundation has gone on the record supporting Theo’s actions.

“It is very difficult to forecast what a judge does in general, and here also in particular,” Ciric tells news.Bitcoin.com. “One thing which is critical to understand in these challenges is that there is no settlement scenario. There is only a winner and a loser, which means that this case is very likely to be appealed as high as the Court of Appeals in New York,” the attorney adds.

What do you think about the upcoming legal battle between Theo Chino and the NYDFS over the New York Bitlicense? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, NYFDS, Twitter 


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