Coinbase, the San Francisco headquartered Bitcoin and Ethereum cryptocurrency exchange and wallet provider, has been granted a New York virtual currency license – commonly known as a BitLicense. The regulators say this comes after they conducted a rigorous review of Coinbase’s operations, including the company’s anti-money laundering, capitalization, consumer protection, and cyber security standards.
New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) Superintendent Maria T. Vullo said: “Through the creation and promotion of strong state-based regulation, DFS continues New York’s long record of being responsive to technological innovation. New York is committed to fostering and encouraging the long-term growth of new industries throughout the state while enforcing all necessary safeguards to protect our markets and consumers.”
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Founded in June 2012, Coinbase has issued 10.9 million cryptocurrency wallets, making it the dominant player in the US market. It also supports 45,000 merchants and 9,000 developer apps. According to statistics on its website, the firm has now already served its five millionth customer.
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.”
Prior to Coinbase, DFS has granted licenses to Ripple and Circle, as well as charters to Gemini and itBit. 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.