It was officially unveiled today that US-headquartered digital asset exchange Coinbase and its trading venue GDAX obtained the BitLicense (a virtual currency and a money transmitter license) from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).
The BitLicense authorizes Coinbase’s continuing virtual currency business operations in the state of New York and is seen by many as an assurance marker for bitcoin exchanges operating within the US to be regarded as a transparent, safe and secure.
Brian Armstrong, Coinbase CEO and Co-founder said:
“At Coinbase, our first priority is to ensure that we operate the most secure and compliant digital currency exchange in the world. We’re thrilled to have obtained the BitLicense and look forward to expanding our business in New York.”
NYDFS conducted a comprehensive review of Coinbase’s applications, including the company’s anti-money laundering, capitalization, consumer protection, and cybersecurity policies. Coinbase, which is subject to ongoing supervision by NYDFS, offers services for buying, selling, sending, receiving, and storing bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
NYDFS has now approved five firms for virtual currency charters or licenses while denying those applications that did not meet NYDFS’s standards. In addition to Coinbase, DFS has granted licenses to XRP II and Circle Internet Financial, and charters to Gemini Trust Company and itBit Trust Company.
The companies that have received application denial letters ordering them to stop any New York operations are ChangeCoin Inc., Ovo Cosmico Inc., Snapcard Inc., and OKLink PTE. LTD.
In other recent Coinbase news, the digital asset exchange is looking to add more currencies in 2017 and the exchange is currently in a showdown with the IRS regarding the privacy of its US users after the government agency requested identification back in November.
Final NYDFS rules for virtual currency business activity has been published in the New York State Register’s June 24, 2015, edition.