BitPay Becomes First Payment Processor to Receive BitLicense in New York

  • Bitpay gets cryptocurrency payments license from New York State
  • Permit allows BitPay to offer clearing and settlement services

Crypto payment processor BitPay has received a BitLicense, the special virtual currency license from the New York Department of Financial Services (DSF).

The permit allows BitPay to offer clearing and settlement services to New York-based companies that want to make transactions with crypto.

A BitLicense is required for all companies who provide any crypto related service including payments, storing, holding, buying and selling crypto as a customer business; controlling, administering, or issuing a virtual currency; and offering exchange services.

Stephen Pair, BitPay’s CEO said in a statement:

New York state has one of the strictest policies around businesses involved in cryptocurrency and working through the approval processes to obtain a License was important to BitPay. We believe this hard work will pay off as New York presents significant business opportunities for BitPay.

BitPay claims to have hundreds of thousands of businesses, including Microsoft, Newegg, and Virgin Galactic, as customers using their services.

Pair added “We believe this gives businesses not only in New York but across the country confidence that blockchain technology offers clear benefits to businesses engaged in e-commerce and cross-border transfers.”

So far, the regulator has only granted ten companies the license: Square, Xapo, Genesis Global Trading Inc., bitFlyer USA, Coinbase, Ripplle through XRP II subsidiary, Circle Internet Financial, Gemini Trust Company, and Paxos (formerly itBit Trust Company).

Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo said in the announcement:

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.

The new license is subject to ongoing supervision by the DFS.

Rwanda’s Central Bank Reportedly Considering Launcing Its Own Cryptocurrency

Michael LaVere
  • The National Bank of Rwanda is considering developing a digital currency. 
  • Planning to use Canada, Singapore and the Netherlands as model countries. 

The National Bank of Rwanda (NBR) is reportedly considering the development and launch of a state-backed cryptocurrency. 

Rwandan Digital Currency

According to a report by Bloomberg published on Aug. 22, the central bank is looking into the feasibility of launching a cryptocurrency that would make processing transactions more efficient in addition to boosting economic growth. 

The report claims that the NBR intends to learn from the experience of Canada, Singapore and the Netherlands--other countries that have tested the use of blockchain technology backing a central bank digital currency. 

Financial Stability Director-General Peace Masozera Uwase told Bloomberg in an interview, 

There are still concerns about how exactly you convert the entire currency into digital form, how to distribute that and how fast can you process those transactions. Challenges come in, if technology is down how do you deal with such issues? “We will join in once we are ready.

Rwanda’s consideration of a digital currency comes just weeks after it was reported that China’s central bank digital currency is set for launch, despite the country’s negative stance towards bitcoin and cryptoassets. 

However, the global attitude of central banks is gradually shifting towards the issuance of a digital currency, as existing financial systems seek to find ways to keep up with the fintech revolution being generated through crypto and blockchain.