Cryptocurrency payment processor BitPay has turned out to be the eight-firm to obtain a “BitLicense” from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), which manages what is perhaps the most-restrictive state-level framework for the U.S. cryptocurrency industry.
The NYDS revealed on Monday that it has accepted the Atlanta-based BitPay’s application, after a “comprehensive review” of the firm’s anti-money laundering, anti-fraud, capitalization, consumer protection and cybersecurity policies.
“DFS welcomes BitPay to New York’s expanding and well-regulated virtual currency market,” said Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo. “We continue to work to support a vibrant and competitive virtual currency market that connects and empowers New Yorkers in a global marketplace while ensuring strong state-regulatory oversight is in place.
Starting today, BitPay can process cryptocurrency payments for New York merchants and residents, and the license also permits the company to release cryptocurrency-funded debit cards in the state. At the moment, the company which was established in 2011, promotes bitcoin and bitcoin cash.
BitPay is the first individual cryptocurrency payment processor to acquire a BitLicense. Coinbase, which got its virtual currency license in 2017, also operates a merchant platform, but its core business moves around cryptocurrency trading.
“New York state has one of the strictest policies around businesses involved in cryptocurrency and working through the approval processes to obtain a License was important to BitPay,” said Stephen Pair, CEO of BitPay. “We believe this hard work will pay off as New York presents significant business opportunities for BitPay.”
BitPay is now the eight-firm to get a full BitLicense, regardless of the fact that the framework has been in force since 2015. Yet, the NYDFS has accepted half of those applications in the last three months, probably proposing that the agency is becoming more at ease with the emerging but maturing industry.