Jack Dorsey’s payments firm Square picks up New York BitLicense

Jack Dorsey’s payments firm Square picks up New York BitLicense

BitLicense, also known as the business license for virtual currency activities in New York, is gradually losing its “elusive” moniker.

On Monday, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) announced that it has approved financial services provider Square Inc.’s application for a BitLicense, making it the ninth company to hold the virtual currency license or charter. The BitLicense allows Square’s Cash App to start offering BTC trading to its New York-based customers.

Cash App, which allows for sending and receiving fiat currency, added a Bitcoin option in January to users outside of New York, Georgia, and Hawaii states. Users can use the app to send BTC to an external wallet, although they can’t send it to other Cash App users.

“We are thrilled to now provide New Yorkers with Cash App’s quick and simple way to buy and sell bitcoin,” Brian Grassadonia, executive VP and general manager of Cash App, said in a statement.

According to Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo, the department conducted a comprehensive review of Square’s application, including the company’s anti-money laundering, anti-fraud, capitalization, consumer protection, and cybersecurity policies. As a BitLicense holder, Square is subject to ongoing supervision by NYDFS. The payment services firm, headed by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, also holds a money transmitter license from the New York state department.

Square offers tools for sellers to run their businesses: its hardware enables sellers to accept credit card and contactless payments, while its software and other business services help sellers manage inventory, locations, and employees; provide powerful business analytics; access financing; and utilize tools to engage with their customers.

Square joins eight other firms that have secured approval to operate in New York. In May, Genesis Global Trading received a BitLicense under the state’s rather controversial cryptocurrency regulation. Other BitLicense recipients include Xapo, Coinbase, bitFlyer USA, Ripple subsidiary XRP II, and Circle Internet Financial. Gemini Trust Company and Paxos (formerly ItBit Trust Company) have received NYDFS charters, but have not yet been granted the much sought after BitLicense approval.

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