Business 18 May 2018

Gerald Fenech

Genesis Global secures elusive New York BitLicense

The future appears bright for one of the largest cryptocurrency brokerage trading firms, Genesis Global Trading, after it becomes the latest firm to receive a BitLicense from the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS).

New York-based Genesis made the announcement on Thursday, noting that the BitLicense would enable it to offering cryptocurrency trading services in the state. Genesis is one of only a handful of firms that have this license allowing them to operate in the Empire State.

Genesis is also registered as a broker dealer with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as well as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). It operates an over-the-counter cryptocurrency trading desk which provides services to institutional traders. Before getting its BitLicense, Genesis had operated under what is known as a ‘safe harbour’ provision, which allows registrants to operate in the state while their NYDFS applications are pending.

Commenting on the granting of the license, Genesis CEO Micahel Moro said, “Although we have operated under a safe harbor provision in recent years, today’s decision is an important step forward and reaffirms the robust compliance measures we have enacted as an established trading partner.”

NYDFS superintendent Maria T. Vullo was also bullish about New York’s important role in the fintech industry. In a separate statement, Vullo said, “These approvals demonstrate DFS’s commitment to protecting consumers and the virtual currency market while encouraging innovation, such as the expanded use of blockchain, and providing strong regulatory oversight to new and existing market participants.”

Genesis is only the fifth company to receive a BitLicense under New York’s rather controversial cryptocurrency regulation framework. This was finalized in 2015 and had forced almost all cryptocurrency exchanges and trading firms to exit the scene in what had been described as a ‘Bitcoin Exodus’ by market commentators and analysts.

Other BitLicense recipients include Coinbase, bitFlyer USA, Ripple subsidiary XRP II, and Circle Internet Financial. Gemini Trust Company and Paxos have received NYDFS charters, but have not yet been granted the much sought after BitLicense approval.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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