New BitLicense holder Bitstamp to ramp up presence in US

Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp has become the latest firm to be awarded a BitLicense in New York, giving them the legal authority to provide virtual currency services in the U.S. state.

The firm, considered to be the largest exchange in Europe, becomes the 19th company to be approved by the New York State Department of Financial Services for its virtual currency license.

The prestigious approval builds on the firm’s European payment institution license, which authorizes the firm to operate through the bloc’s 28 member states, and marks a key landmark in the company’s U.S. expansion plans.

The license requires notoriously stringent compliance standards, with the firm surpassing the threshold on a range of consumer and capital protections to win the approval of regulators.

As a result, over 10 companies announced they would no longer operate in New York when the license was first announced, dubbed the “Great Bitcoin Exodus” by local media at the time.

In a statement, Bitstamp said its clients should take comfort from the levels of investor protection and security the firm has put in place as part of securing its New York DFS license. Nejc Kodrič, CEO of Bitstamp said the license was a further example of Bitstamp’s commitment to building trust within the Bitcoin market.

He noted, “We’ve always embraced proactive efforts that protect the interests of both consumers and institutional investors. Obtaining a BitLicense is another example of our commitment to be the most trusted digital currency exchange in the world.”

“Having a BitLicense is also a key element in ramping up our presence in the United States, especially when it comes to working with institutional investors,” Kodrič added.

Bitstamp is current upgrading several internal systems, which the firm says will put it “on par” with traditional financial exchanges.

With the firm known to be courting institutional investors in particular, the BitLicense is an additional badge of trust for those considering moving managed assets in cryptocurrency markets. The BitLicense was first proposed and devised back in 2014, with the first license being issued to payments startup Circle.

In securing the license, the exchange joins an exclusive club of BitLicense holders, including Coinbase, Gemini and BitPay.

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