Crypto Exchange Bitstamp Granted BitLicense, Plans US Expansion

Bitstamp, a popular European cryptocurrency exchange, has recently been granted the coveted BitLicense by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), and is now planning to expand in the US.

According to CoinDesk, Bitstamp received the 19th BitLicense granted by the state, and allows the exchange to offer bitcoin, ether, litecoin, bitcoin cash, and XRP trading to New York’s residents.

Bitstamp was reportedly among the first 22 applicants to receive the license, as it applied for it in June of 2015, when NYDFS created the law. While in the first few years it only issued a few licenses, the regulator has been issuing more and more over time. Nejc Kodrič, Bitstamp’s CEO, noted this year five have already been granted.

This, as the NYDFS has granted licenses to stock trading app Robinhood, bitcoin ATM operators Cottonwood Vending and LibertyX, and prime brokerage Tagomi. Last year, bit wallet and storage service Xapo was the sixth firm to receive a BitLicense, and since then the number of issued licenses has more than tripled.

Speaking to the news outlet Kodrič added that to get the license, Bitstamp and NYDFS discussed aspects of the exchange’s operation. He was quoted as saying:

There were questions all around how the matching engine works, how we store crypto, how we [conduct] audits. The license is a set of rules and procedures you have to follow on a daily basis, so once you do that you can [receive a BitLicense].

Kodrič noted, however, that New York’s standards weren’t too far away from those of the European Union. He added that while Bitstamp has been focusing on European markets, it will now expand its presence in the US.

Bitstamp’s operations in the US began before the BitLicense was finalized. Despite the BitLicense only allowing the exchange to offer US users five cryptocurrencies, Kodrič claimed this isn’t a firm limitation.

The exchange has notably recently launched new trading apps for both iOS and Android devices, with features that even allow users to remotely disable them in case they lose their mobile devices.