After being criticized by the bitcoin community for its overly draconian nature, it appears the New York authorities are now ready for serious business. U.S.-based bitcoin payments processor BitPay has been granted the BitLicense, making it the eighth cryptocurrency related business to gain the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) approval in three years.
Joining the Crypto Elite
Global bitcoin payment processor BitPay has successfully entered the small league of bitcoin businesses that have scaled the high hurdle of the New York regulatory watchdog.
On Monday, July 16, 2018, the New York Department of Financial Services announced it had approved BitPay’s BitLicense application after thoroughly reviewing the Atlanta-based company’s operations, including its compliance with anti-money laundering (AML), anti-fraud, capitalization, cybersecurity policies amongst other laws.
“DFS welcomes BitPay to New York’s expanding and well-regulated virtual currency market,” said Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo, adding “We continue to work to support a vibrant and competitive virtual currency market that connects and empowers New Yorkers in a global marketplace while ensuring strong state-regulatory oversight is in place.”
BitPay Propels Cryptocurrency Use
Established in May 2011 by Tony Gallippi and Stephen Pair, the firm makes it possible for merchants to accept bitcoin (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) payments for goods and services, seamlessly.
Since 2014, BitPay has been processing more than $1 million daily and controls five wholly owned subsidiaries – BitPay Brazil, BitPay Netherlands, BitPay UK, BitPay Canada and BitPay Services, LLC.
With this latest development, BitPay has become the first non-cryptocurrency exchange to obtain the somewhat elusive BitLicense.
In March 2018, BTCManager reported BitPay had updated its terms of service, making it impossible for a vast array of businesses including hard drugs and pornography merchants to use the platform.
In what seemed like a forward-thinking maneuver to cushion the adverse effect the embargo it placed on some merchants may have on its business, BitPay joined forces with cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb in March 2018, to enable both firms to facilitate remittance payments globally, with minimal fees.
Sonny Singh, Cheif commercial officer of BitPay said at the time:
“We’re trying to make it so that people can get money cheaper and quicker from suppliers internationally. So right now, someone in South Korea can pay a million-dollar invoice in the United States using Bithumb to buy bitcoin and pay the invoice, and BitPay will process that invoice and settle in US dollars the next business day.”
With the BitPay approval, a total of eight firms, including Square, Xapo, Genesis Global Trading, bitFlyer, XRP II and Circle have received the license, with Gemini and Paxos getting charters only.