Xapo Gives Up Its NYDFS BitLicense

The New York Department of Financial Services said Xapo surrendered its virtual currency license on Jan. 11.

AccessTimeIconJan 12, 2022 at 5:39 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:13 p.m. UTC
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Cryptocurrency exchange Xapo has surrendered its BitLicense, according to the New York regulator overseeing the virtual currency license.

The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) announced Wednesday that Xapo "surrendered" its virtual currency license the day before. It did not say why the exchange did so, but the surrendering of the license was Xapo's decision. Xapo received its BitLicense in 2018.

The exchange announced in December 2020 that it would cease offering services to U.S. customers. At the time, the company also announced it would focus on offering digital banking services, as opposed to the crypto wallet and custody platform it originally launched with.

"Serving the U.S. market would require quite a lot of effort, time and investment, it would require a separate organization within Xapo to support it and it would still yield a worse product than what we can offer internationally," Xapo founder Wences Cesares said at the time.

This marks the second time an issued virtual currency license has been given up in New York, after Tagomi surrendered its license following its acquisition by crypto exchange Coinbase.

"New York customers of Xapo who may have unclaimed funds associated with a Xapo account may wish to refer to the Unclaimed Funds website of the Office of the New York State Comptroller," the statement from NYDFS said.

A Xapo spokesperson did not return a request for comment by press time.

Coinbase, a fellow BitLicense recipient, acquired Xapo's institutional business in 2019.

UPDATE (Jan. 12, 2022, 18:35 UTC): Updated with additional context.

CORRECTION (Jan. 12, 2022, 19:16 UTC): Corrects that Tagomi was the first BitLicense recipient to surrender its license, not Xapo.


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Nikhilesh De

Nikhilesh De is CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation. He owns marginal amounts of bitcoin and ether.

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