Circle Granted First BitLicense by NYDFS

Bitcoin wallet Circle says it has become the first company to receive a BitLicense from the New York State Department of Financial Services.

AccessTimeIconSep 22, 2015 at 9:51 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 11:53 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Bitcoin wallet Circle says it has become the first company to receive a BitLicense from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).

According to a blog post from the company today, Circle will now be able to serve customers in New York under the divisive regulatory framework, applications for which closed on 8th August.

In conjunction with news, the company is releasing a host of updates to its iOS, Android and web apps, now named 'Circle Pay'.

Alongside other functionality, Circle customers in the US can now hold, send and request dollars from their contacts and refuel their account by bank transfer or credit card.

The company's blog post reads:

"You can enjoy the benefits of bitcoin without ever holding or buying bitcoin yourself, and without being exposed to bitcoin price volatility."

Users also have the ability to toggle between bitcoin and dollars for free, with more currencies expected in the coming months.

'Still not perfect'

Circle was one of nine well-known bitcoin companies who declared they would be applying for the license. The NYDFS confirmed in early August it had received a total of 22 applications.

A number of firms, including ShapeShift, have boycotted the framework by blocking New York customers. Circle itself had once threatened this action, but says the issues it had have largely been resolved.

"Though still not perfect, the BitLicense and its requirements became clear and irrefutable prerequisites for serving and supporting everyone in New York," it said, concluding:

"We want to help people everywhere around the globe, and that includes New Yorkers."


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.