The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) granted BitLicense, the license of virtual currency activities, and money transmitter license to crypto trading firm Bakkt Marketplace, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bakkt Holdings, LLC, created by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).
The two licenses will allow Bakkt Marketplace to facilitate buying and selling of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to consumers in the State of New York. This will be subject to DFS’s supervision of its licensed activities.
After granting the licenses, the DFS ensures companies adhere to high standards of consumer protection, security, and fraud-prevention.
“This represents a major milestone to achieving our vision of making digital assets accessible to all, and we’re thrilled to continue driving innovation in this rapidly evolving industry, highlighted by the upcoming launch of the Bakkt App,” said Bakkt CEO Gavin Michael.
The DFS said the move will help New Yorkers meet their need for digital asset related services and will promote the continued growth of the virtual currency industry in the State, while helping to rebuild and recover New York’s economy.
Since 2015, the New York regulator has granted 29 virtual currency licenses or trust charters, including the virtual currency license granted to Bakkt Marketplace. It granted the first BitLicense to industry startup Circle in September 2015.
The DFS began licensing firms engaged in virtual currency activity after the promulgation of its BitLicense regulation in 2015. Some institutions like Paxos, Gemini and recently BitGo sought and received limited purpose trust charters.
The controversial BitLicense regulatory framework, which came into effect on August 8, 2015, is aimed at monitoring and regulating operations of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and cryptocurrency-related products being offered in the State of New York and to New York residents.
BitLicense is dubbed as one of the most restrictive cryptocurrency regulatory frameworks in North America. More than fifteen digital currency companies left the New York state initially because of the new regulations, including Vaultoro, Shapeshift, Paxful, Poloniex, Bitfinex, Kraken, and more. This was called ‘Great Bitcoin Exodus.’
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