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Florida Republican senator introduces bill to regulate Bitcoin kiosks

Florida Republican senator Colleen Burton has introduced Senate Bill 662 which aims to regulate Bitcoin and other virtual currency kiosks in the state to prevent unlawful and fraudulent activities.

Under the proposed legislation, titled “Virtual Currency Kiosk Businesses,” virtual currency businesses must register with the state to operate legally. Certain entities also need to acquire a license as money services businesses.

To facilitate understanding and effective regulation of virtual currency transactions, the bill includes comprehensive definitions for key terms, such as “virtual currency kiosk” and “virtual currency kiosk business.”

The bill defines a virtual currency kiosk as an electronic terminal facilitating the exchange of virtual currency for fiat currency or vice versa. Meanwhile, a virtual currency kiosk business encompasses entities operating these kiosks but does not fall under the classification of money transmitters.

This legislative proposal is part of a broader initiative to regulate virtual currency operations across the United States.

California’s crypto regulation

Apart from Florida, California has previously taken steps last year to combat potential scams in the cryptocurrency landscape. On October 13, 2023, Governor Newsom approved the enactment of Assembly Bill 39 and Senate Bill 401, collectively referred to as the Digital Financial Assets Law (DFAL).

The DFAL grants rulemaking authority to the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI), with an effective date of July 1, 2025. This timeline is designed to ensure that the regulatory framework is carefully crafted to provide strong protections for investors and consumers while addressing the challenges posed by the crypto asset industry.

Under this law, kiosk operators are required to submit a comprehensive list of all kiosk locations they own, operate or manage within the state. The law defines an operator as an individual overseeing a digital financial asset transaction kiosk in California.

Additionally, these operators are restricted from dispensing or accepting amounts exceeding $1,000 in a single day through kiosks. It must provide customers with receipts containing specific information for any transaction conducted at the kiosk.

Starting from January 1, 2025, kiosk operators are also required to provide pre-transaction disclosures to customers and prohibited from collecting amounts exceeding the greater of $5 or 15 percent of the U.S. dollar equivalent of digital financial assets involved in a single transaction from customers.

Regarding the licensing, companies must be licensed by the DFPI or have submitted a license application to operate in California starting July 1, 2025. The DFAL explicitly prohibits entities from engaging in digital financial asset business activities without the requisite license from the DFPI.

Expansion of Bitcoin ATMs

The U.S. boasts a significant number of virtual currency kiosks or ATMs, forming a global network with 71 countries, 43 producers and 499 operators participating.

Data from Coin ATM Radar reveal that there are more than 34,746 operational crypto ATMs and kiosks globally, with the United States hosting around 83 percent (29,043). In Florida alone, there are 2,842 Bitcoin ATMs.

In early January, Bullet Blockchain (BULT), a software development and SaaS company specializing in blockchain and Bitcoin ATM technologies, acquired a network of 40 Bitcoin ATMs in South Florida.

“South Florida is an important market and a key component to our overall strategy. We now have a presence in two states, and we are looking to expand rapidly,” said Simon Rubin, CEO of BULT.

BULT recently completed a strategic transaction, acquiring a portfolio of Bitcoin ATMs and deploying ten licensed Bitcoin ATMs in Georgia as the initial phase of its planned deployment and branding of 30 Bitcoin ATM kiosks.