New York’s Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) requires state-sanctioned crypto currency companies to provide detailed preparedness plans for coronavirus, signaling the seriousness of COVID-19 poses to both businesses and public health.
According to a letter sent out Tuesday, “virtual currency” companies must produce contingency plans with painstaking, granular details. Preparations should include employee protection strategies, increased cyber-risk mitigation, disaster communication plans and procedures to ensure that critical operations “at a minimum” continue to function.
The regulator has shown particular concern about the possibility of hackers attempting to exploit the virus outbreak. NYDFS ‘ underlined ‘ the risk of under-radar hacks and urged firms to consider implementing more robust security measures that could detect “fraudulent trading or withdrawal behaviour”.
The agency further highlighted the possibility that remote workers might imperil custodied assets as they move funds from “cold” (offline) storage to “hot” (internet-connected) wallets.
Plans Submitted within 30 days, but Preferably ASAP
According to the letter, companies are required to submit their plans within the next 30 days, but preferably “as soon as possible” A press officer at NYDFS did not immediately answer questions about whether the request applies to all BitLicense holders.
The request provides a striking look at the on-the-moment response from New York to a crisis that is growing layered by the hour. When NYDFS released the memo on Tuesday, the state of New York was already days into a state of emergency triggered by coronavirus. But businesses across the state and its namesake city, where most of the virtual currency firms in New York are based, were still mulling what to do in response to the outbreak, if anything.
However, by Thursday that dynamic appeared to change. Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a moratorium on mass gatherings and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a citywide state of emergency, warning the public that coronavirus could “easily be a six-month crisis” in near-back press conferences.
The drastic shift in public opinion, government outlook and business realities throughout the week has made plans that seem preventive only days earlier appear far more vital to the daily life of the New York state.