In a press release on Tuesday, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) announced that it has granted Coinbase, Inc. the virtual currency and money transmitter license needed to continue its operations in New York. The company had announced that it applied for the state’s “BitLicense” in August, 2015, and has been operating in New York under the terms of a safe harbor provision while it waited for formal approval.
Coinbase was one of many cryptocurrency companies that stood in opposition to the state’s BitLicense proposal prior to its passage into law, citing the law’s regulatory overlap with money transmitter licenses – among other concerns. However, once the bill became law, Coinbase accepted the result and submitted its BitLicense application, even as other cryptocurrency companies like Kraken and BitFinex announced that they would no longer serve customers in the state.
Now, roughly a year-and-a-half later, the company’s decision to file for a license has been rewarded with what now becomes only the third BitLicense to be issued since the law went into effect – Circle received approval in 2015 and Ripple received its license last summer. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong took the opportunity to cite his company’s commitment to working with regulatory bodies:
“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.”