Bakkt Granted Crypto License in New York

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has approved the application of Bakkt Marketplace for virtual currency and money transmitter licenses.

Linda A. Lacewell, Financial Services Superintendent of the NY DFS, said: “With new technology advancing every day, DFS is proud to be at the forefront of financial innovation through our continuous efforts to set the conditions for virtual currency companies to germinate and grow. Responsible innovation will blaze a path to a brighter future. This approval provides additional virtual currency options to New Yorkers as the state continues to rebuild and recover.”

The Bakkt Marketplace will be authorized to offer its cryptocurrency offering to New York residents. “We’re extremely proud to be awarded a BitLicense by the New York State Department of Financial Services. 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 New York DFS has granted 29 virtual currency licenses or trust charters since 2015. Last week, the NY watchdog has authorized BitGo to operate in the State.

BitGo obtained a charter under New York Banking Law to operate as a limited liability trust company. The DFS approval authorizes the firm to provide digital asset custody and other related services to New York customers, including DFS supervised entities authorized to engage in virtual currency activity.

“The past year has been exceptional for BitGo and the digital asset markets overall, primarily due to the influx of large financial services institutions that bring a new level of credibility, liquidity, and stability to the crypto ecosystem”, said Mike Belshe, CEO, BitGo.

The first New York crypto license was issued in 2015. The authorities have updated their approach to the dynamic crypto space, including streamlining the process for companies to adopt new coins through a self-certification framework and a coins Greenlist.

This new license comes as DFS is hosting its first-ever techsprint in partnership with the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and the Alliance for Innovative Regulation, an initiative to convene regulators and industry stakeholders to work towards a common goal of Digital Regulatory Reporting (DRR), which aims to give regulators instant access to data provided by firms under their supervision. This effort comes in the context of a trend by global financial regulators to employ techsprints as a mechanism to rapidly prototype technology solutions to key supervisory problems.