NYDFS: BitLicense Applications Show ‘Substantial Interest’ (Aug. 24, 2015)
Less than three months after New York State’s Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) finalized the U.S.’s first state-level framework for licensing digital currency companies, nearly two dozen firms have applied for the so-called BitLicense, the agency said. The deadline for businesses already operating in New York State to file a license application was Aug. 8. Twenty-two firms applied by that date—an indication that there’s “substantial interest” in obtaining a BitLicense, the NYDFS told CoinDesk.
Several other digital currency companies have opted to cease operations in New York in the wake of the new licensing requirement, citing an onerous application process and compliance requirements that outweighed the benefits of obtaining a BitLicense. Firms that have stopped operating in New York are welcome to apply for a license at a later date, should they choose to do so, Matt Anderson, deputy superintendent for NYDFS public affairs, told CoinDesk.
“In the long term, we think this is going to be helpful and I think there’ll ultimately be some sort of shaking the wheat from the chaff,” Anderson told CoinDesk. It’s the agency’s view that the BitLicense ultimately will speed the adoption of digital currency by businesses and consumers, he added. But some critics have claimed the law will do the opposite—restricting the development of digital currency and unfairly protecting established players in the banking and financial services industry from the disruptive potential of digital currency.
The NYDFS unveiled the final BitLicense framework in early June, after nearly two years of development and several revisions of the guidelines. A BitLicense is required of all companies operating in New York that provide digital currency intermediary services, such as transmitting, storing or exchanging digital currency, on behalf of customers. A license is not required of merchants accepting digital currency, consumers or software developers.