When it comes to cryptocurrency regulation, few states are as strict as New York. Given its reputation as a financial hub, this cautious approach makes sense—even if it might stand in the way of progress. One of the ways the state manages the industry is through the granting of BitLicenses, which a business must have to engage in cryptocurrency activities within the state. Currently, just five firms have received this license since it was created three years ago, with Genesis Global Trading being the fifth.
The announcement was made Thursday by both the New York State Department of Financial Services and Genesis Global Trading.
BitLicenses have been a source of pride for the state financial services department, but they are also highly criticized by the cryptocurrency industry. Speaking at CoinDesk’s Consensus 2018 conference this past Tuesday, ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees said that BitLicense was an “absolute failure” that “should be removed.” He also stated his displeasure at how few licenses have been issued, saying it is “pathetic” that, at the time of his statement, only four businesses had been granted one.
While this regulation has driven many businesses out of the state, Genesis Trading held on, remaining in the state under a safe harbor provision. The company, founded in 2013, is known to cater to investors with high net worth as well as institutions, working with most of the big-name coins, including Bitcoin and Ethereum.
In addition to Genesis, Circle, XRP II, Coinbase, and bitFlyer are holders of New York State BitLicenses.