Wheels are still turning in the US crypto industry despite the month long government shutdown. At least they are in New York anyway where crypto exchange Robinhood has just been granted a BitLicense to open up shop.
Robinhood Coming to New York
The commission free crypto startup that has become a huge hit with millennials proudly announced that it is ‘coming to New York’ in a blog post yesterday. The company added that the new license marks another important step towards its mission of democratizing the financial system. The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has granted Robinhood an elusive BitLicense, which only a handful of crypto companies, including Genesis Trading and Square, have attained. Financial Services Superintendent, Maria T. Vullo, added “DFS continues to lead the way in responsibly supervising and advancing innovation in New York’s flourishing financial technology sector through a strong state-based regulatory regime,”
Robinhood is currently available in over 30 states nationwide and has expanded across the US since its early beginnings in January last year. The company received over a million signups in just a few days during the crypto peak when it announced a no commission trading platform. It was seen as a potential rival to Coinbase which had the monopoly on things back then, in addition to heavy fees and commissions and a long list of customer complaints.
Robinhood has weathered the bear market well expanding from four initial US states to well over half of them. It has also expanded the number of cryptocurrencies listed and currently has seven of them available to its users, which now includes New Yorkers.
In addition to the BitLicense the DFS also approved a LibertyX license which is the first virtual currency licensee to allow customers to use debit cards to purchase Bitcoin from traditional ATMs. According to the official press release LibertyX co-Founder and chairman, Kyle Powers said, “LibertyX loves New York bitcoiners. We are excited to bring them an instant way to buy Bitcoin at a nearby location.” While co-Founder and Co-CEO of Robinhood, Vlad Tenev, added;
“This will complement the larger suite of investment services that New Yorkers already have access to on the Robinhood platform. The NYDFS has been very helpful throughout this process, and we look forward to their ongoing guidance as we prepare to launch Robinhood Crypto in New York,”
New York continues to advance as one of the more pro-active states when it comes to crypto and fintech. The frustration for the crypto industry in the rest of the US lies with the prolonged heel dragging from the SEC and CFTC at the behest of the current administration.
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