January 17, 2017
Contact: Richard Loconte, 212-709-1691
DFS GRANTS VIRTUAL CURRENCY LICENSE TO COINBASE, INC.
Five Virtual Currency Entities Have Received Approval by DFS to Operate in New York
Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo today announced that the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has approved the application of Coinbase, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Coinbase Global, Inc., for a virtual currency and a money transmitter license. As a leading state financial services regulator, DFS has rapidly responded to innovations by licensing technology based money transmitters under New York’s money transmitter law; online lenders under New York’s banking law; and virtual currency exchanges under New York’s financial services law. DFS, citing its experience in regulating emerging financial services technology firms, recently submitted a comment letter in opposition to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) proposal to create a new national bank charter for “fintech” companies.
"Through the creation and promotion of strong state-based regulation, DFS continues New York’s long record of being responsive to technological innovation,” said Financial Services Superintendent Vullo. “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.”
DFS has conducted a comprehensive review of Coinbase’s applications, including the company’s anti-money laundering, capitalization, consumer protection, and cyber security policies. Coinbase, which is subject to ongoing supervision by DFS, offers services for buying, selling, sending, receiving, and storing bitcoin.
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.”
After rigorous review, DFS has approved five firms for virtual currency charters or licenses, while denying those applications that did not meet DFS’s standards. In addition to Coinbase, DFS has granted licenses to XRP II and Circle Internet Financial, and charters to Gemini Trust Company and itBit Trust Company. 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.