January 17, 2017 / 9:14 PM / in 9 months

Bitcoin exchange Coinbase gets money transmitter license in New York

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York Department of Financial Services announced on Monday that it had granted a virtual currency and money transmitter license to bitcoin exchange Coinbase.

FILE PHOTO: Bitcoin (virtual currency) coins are seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, May 27, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

Coinbase is the world’s largest bitcoin company and currently operates in 32 countries.

The announcement was made by Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo, who said the agency was continuing “New York’s long record of being responsive to technological innovation.”

DFS said it had conducted a comprehensive review of Coinbase’s applications, including the company’s anti-money laundering, capitalization, consumer protection, and cyber security policies. Coinbase, which is subject to ongoing supervision by DFS, offers services for buying, selling, sending, receiving, and storing bitcoin.

“At Coinbase, our first priority is to ensure that we operate the most secure and compliant digital currency exchange in the world,” said Brian Armstrong, Coinbase chief executive officer and co-founder.

Aside from Coinbase, DFS has granted money transmitter licenses to Ripple and Circle Internet Financial and trust charters to Gemini Trust Company, founded by the Winklevoss brothers, as well as itBit Trust Company.

Coinbase currently has two trading platforms, one for retail investors and one for institutions.

Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Tom Brown

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