NYDFS: Coinbase Is Not Licensed in New York

The NYDFS has issued a response to questions about the regulatory status of Coinbase's recently launched bitcoin exchange.

AccessTimeIconJan 28, 2015 at 5:23 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 11:28 a.m. UTC
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The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has issued a new statement indicating Coinbase has not yet secured a license to operate in New York.

The remarks, relayed by a spokesman to The New York Times, suggest that the department, which is currently working on a final version of its BitLicense regulation, is still in talks with Coinbase about its legal status in the state, but that no decisions have been finalized.

The NYDFS spokesman said:

“We are working with several companies, including Coinbase, on licensing and will continue to move forward expeditiously. That said, we have not yet issued any licenses to virtual currency firms.”

The Times also received a statement from Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam in which he stated the company will “continue to work” with the NYDFS as it finalizes its BitLicense proposal.

Coinbase has indicated that it believes it is operating in a “gray area” in New York and California due to the fact that both states have yet to decide on how to move forward with bitcoin-specific regulation.

The publication went on to speculate that such actions, while not inconsistent with the development of tech companies, could set back efforts to improve bitcoin’s reputation with the public. The company is also not facing any monetary penalities at this time for its actions, the Times suggested.

The statements notably follow a consumer alert from California’s money transmitter regulator, the Department of Business Oversight (DBO), to the people of California, in which it said that Coinbase is not licensed or registered to serve state consumers.

A final version of the BitLicense is expected to be released in January.

New York court image via Shutterstock

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