Square Inc., a payments company founded and run by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, was awarded a coveted license to deal in cryptocurrencies in New York.
Square was granted a so-called BitLicense by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), becoming only the ninth such firm to win approval to operate in the state. It now legally operates as a money transmitter and digital currency exchange, according to a company statement.
To maintain a BitLicense license, a provider must fulfil various reporting requirements and comply with standards on anti-money laundering, cybersecurity, and consumer protection.
New York is the only state that requires firms dealing in the digital assets to obtain a license to operate. The Empire State has established strong state-based regulation, but the approach has been widely maligned by the crypto community for being one of the strictest laws governing this type of business.
The news follows other, similar stories of progress for Bitcoin companies in the US, though cryptocurrency regulation still happens largely on a state-by-state basis.
San Francisco-based Square, which more than doubled in value last year, had jumped on the cryptocurrency bandwagon back in January when it rolled out Bitcoin trading to its Cash App customers.
Square founder and CEO Jack Dorsey has repeatedly shared his enthusiasm for digital currencies, saying it provides an “opportunity to get more people access to the financial system.” He also thinks bitcoin is a transformational technology and will be the world’s single currency in 10 years.