New York’s financial regulator, the state Department of Financial Services (DFS), announced today that Coinbase’s licensing application to offer Ethereum and Litecoin has been approved, based on its positive review of the company’s policies.
The San Francisco-based company said it was also approved to offer users in New York access to ‘Shift Card’, a Coinbase linked debit card service.
The state license allows Coinbase, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Coinbase Global, Inc., to offer services for the Ethereum network, a cryptocurrency and blockchain platform, as well as its digital cryptography-based asset, dubbed ‘Ether’.
In addition, the regulator authorised the usage of Shift Card, a Visa-branded debit card that allows Coinbase users to spend bitcoin both online and at physical points of sale at over 38 million merchants worldwide. Finally, receipt of the New York license will allow Coinbase to expand its business opportunities in the state after adding Litecoin to its permitted virtual currency portfolio.
To date, the financial services department has approved five firms for virtual currency charters or licenses, while denying those applications that did not meet its standards. Coinbase joined four other rivals that previously gained ‘BitLicenses’ from the DFS to operate in New York.
DFS Superintendent Maria Vullo commented on the granting of the new licences: “New York continues to lead the nation in fostering financial technology by responsibly promoting innovation and protecting consumers. DFS has proven that the state regulatory system is the best way to supervise and cultivate a thriving fintech industry, like virtual currency. New York will remain steadfast in pushing back against federal encroachment efforts like the OCC’s proposal to impose a one-size-fits-all national bank charter that increases risk and seeks to usurp state sovereignty.”
Brian Armstrong, Coinbase CEO and co-founder added: “At Coinbase, our first priority is to ensure that we operate the most secure and compliant digital currency exchange in the world. New York is an important market and we look forward to expanding our services for New York customers as swiftly as possible.”