Bitstamp, the Europe-based exchange has just been issued New York’s latest virtual currency licence.
The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) awarded Bitstamp the 19th BitLicense on Tuesday 9th April, allowing the exchange to offer bitcoin, litecoin, bitcoin cash, ether and XRP trading pairs to New York state residents.
Bitstamp first applied for the licence in 2015 and was among the first set of 22 applicants for the licence, according to CEO Nejc Kodrič.
The regulator only issued a handful of BitLicenses (or virtual currency licenses) in the first few years, but appears to be “becoming more routine to them,” Kodrič said, adding, “This year we are the [fifth] that was granted so I guess the pace is picking up.”
To date in 2019, prime brokerage Tagomi, stock trading app Robinhood and bitcoin ATM operators Cottonwood Vending and LibertyX have received the coveted license.
In order to get to this point, Bitstamp and NYDFS have discussed various aspects of the exchange’s operation, Kodrič explained: “There were questions all around how the matching engine works, how we store crypto, how we [conduct] audits. The license is a set of rules and procedures you have to follow on a daily basis, so once you do that you can [receive a BitLicense].”
The CEO likened the approval process to Europe’s standards: the exchange already has a payment institution license in the EU, allowing it to operate across all 28 member countries: “The BitLicense is not that much different than our financial services license that we have in Europe,” he said. “We didn’t reinvent the wheel.”
Bitstamp now plans to expand its US operations: “We were providing services in the [US] including New York before there were any licenses out there,” Kodrič said. “We have many customers from the States, but we plan on going more active.”