Cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp announced that it has been granted a BitLicense by the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS.) The announcement came in a press release shared with Finance Magnates.
Bitstamp is one of only nineteen companies to receive the BitLicense, including cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and (more recently) crypto brokerage Tagomi. According to Bitstamp CEO Nejc Kodrič, the BitLicense is an important step in further establishing Bitstamp’s presence in the US, although it has already had operations there for some time, and has an office in New York.
“Having a BitLicense is also a key element in ramping up our presence in the United States, especially when it comes to working with institutional investors,” he said.
The license allows the exchange to continue its operations within the state of New York. More specifically, Bitstamp is authorized to offer trading in five cryptocurrencies-Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ripple’s XRP. The exchange may add additional cryptocurrencies in the future, according to the press release.
BitLicense Has Sparked Controversy in the Past, But Bitstamp Seems to Think It’s Worth the Effort
The BitLicense has been criticized in the past for being too expensive and too logistically heavy for younger companies to attain, although, on paper, its goals seem logical enough: to protect customers, to establish regulations that prevent money laundering, and to establish cybersecurity standards.
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Indeed, Bitstamp’s press release said that “the DFS BitLicense requires Bitstamp to meet several stringent requirements when it comes to consumer protections.”
On the other hand, though, it also said that with the BitLicense, Bitstamp users could rest easy in the knowledge that they “are afforded the same protections as customers at traditional financial institutions.” Kodrič explained that “we’ve always embraced proactive efforts that protect the interests of both consumers and institutional investors.”
“Obtaining a BitLicense is another example of our commitment to be the most trusted digital currency exchange in the world.”
The BitLicense should bring some new users in for Bitstamp, which is continuing to grow. “Right now we are approaching 4 million users,” Kodrič said in an interview with Finance Magnates that was conducted earlier this year. “We did see exponential growth in late 2017 and early 2018. That has levelled off as the market has calmed down and we’re now once again seeing steady growth.”
The BitLicense comes amid some critical changes for the exchange, including the incorporation of Cinnober’s TRADExpress Trading System, a new WebSocket solution, a new mobile app, and the launch of a new trading interface that is expected later this month.