This past March Bitcoin.com reported on a single Bitcoin entrepreneur taking the New York Bitlicense to court due to the law stifling digital currency businesses and constraining regulations set forth by the New York Division of Financial Services (NYDFS). Now the French national, Theo Chino is taking the case to the Supreme Court with the first hearing beginning on May 4.
One Bitcoin Entrepreneur Takes on the NYDFS
The New York Bitlicense has always been a contentious subject for bitcoiners ever since the former NYDFS regulator Ben Lawsky introduced the legislation. Since then droves of bitcoin-focused businesses left New York to operate elsewhere and only a few companies have been approved under the license.
Following these events, Theo Chino, a businessman who operated a bitcoin merchant solution service said his business was hurt by the Bitlicense, and he has been concentrating all of his energy towards fighting the regulatory guidelines.
Chino believes the reasons behind the Bitlicense are unclear, inconsistent but still led to the commencement of legislative action. The lawsuit called “Article 78” which was filed in New York’s highest court states;
This court should allow for limited discovery on the economic nature of bitcoin and whether the regulation was issued in an arbitrary and capricious fashion.
Looking for Bitcoin Foundation Assistance
Chino has also complained in the past about the Bitcoin Foundation not doing enough to assist fighting this legal battle. During the recent bitcoin conference in Miami (TNABC) Chino interrupted the former Bitcoin Foundation Director Bruce Fenton’s keynote speech and asked him why the Foundation wasn’t helping him. Fenton replied the Foundation could only do so much with volunteer efforts and the organization did lobby the NYDFS alongside groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Bitcoin Foundation Begins Fundraising for Chino’s Legal Costs
With the hearing coming soon the Bitcoin Foundation has since pledged on April 10th to solicit donations to help the trial move forward. In a recent blog post, the organization states “the Bitlicense can still be stopped if we use this opportunity,” referring to Chino’s Supreme Court case.
“Our final opportunity to get New York’s BitLicense regulation thrown out is to support the only legal challenge against it, filed by Theo Chino, a Bitcoin entrepreneur and lifetime member of the Bitcoin Foundation,” explains the organization’s recent blog post. “Chino and his attorney, Pierre Ciric, intend to pursue this challenge over the long haul, almost certainly all the way to New York’s highest court.”
The Bitcoin Foundation says they have created a BTC wallet to accept donations for Chino’s legal fees. “The Foundation will disburse amounts from this wallet on the presentation of invoices for legal fees incurred in this matter and signed off by Chino,” the Bitcoin Foundation explains. The organization hopes to raise roughly $100-200 thousand dollars in bitcoins to help with all of the legal costs.
We need your BTCs now more than ever, in order to stop the Bitlicense regulation in its tracks, before it sets a global precedent.
With May 4 approaching fast the Foundation has raised only a small portion of funds so far as the donation wallet has collected a little over $800. The hearing will take place at the Justice Lucy Billings building in New York with Chino’s hopes of stopping the Bitlicense from causing further industry damage.
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, NYDFS, the Bitcoin Foundation, and Twitter.
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