NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bitstamp, Europe’s biggest digital asset exchange, has been granted a virtual currency license, the New York Department of Financial Services said on Tuesday.
Bitstamp USA is the nineteenth company to receive a BitLicense from the department, which authorizes the company to conduct digital currency operations in the state of New York.
“With today’s approval of Bitstamp’s virtual currency license, New York is showing that regulation and innovation can exist together,” Acting Financial Services Superintendent Linda A. Lacewell said in a statement.
The state’s action authorizes Bitstamp USA to provide its customers with the ability to buy and sell bitcoin, along with select other virtual currencies, for U.S. dollars and vice versa.
Bitstamp has also been authorized to facilitate transfers of funds onto the Ripple Network, issuing Ripple Balances in U.S. dollars, other virtual currencies, and select fiat currencies, including the Australian dollar, British pound, euro, Swiss franc, and Japanese yen, the financial regulator said.
“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,” Nejc Kodrič, Bitstamp’s chief executive, said in a separate statement.
In 2016, Bitstamp Europe SA was granted a payment institution license, which gave access across all 28 European Union countries.
Bitstamp’s BitLicense allows it to offer trading in five cryptocurrencies — bitcoin, ether, ripple, litecoin and bitcoin cash — in addition to others it may add in the future, the company said.
In October last year, Bitstamp was acquired by NXMH, a Belgium-based investment company, in an all cash deal.
Bitstamp is the largest digital currency exchange in the European Union by volume, with turnover of $100 million per day.
Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Steve Orlofsky