The United States government might be on a shutdown but the cryptocurrency industry is still steaming on, as indicated by the virtual currency license being granted to the California-based cryptocurrency exchange Robinhood. Robinhood, the commission-free cryptocurrency exchange has just been granted a license to trade in cryptocurrencies or a BitLicense by the state of New York as announced by their blog post, dated January 24. The exchange was also granted a money transmission license by the state.
New Yorkers will now be able to invest and trade in digital currencies through the Robinhood platform and application. The BitLicense was granted to Robinhood by the New York Department of Financial Services [DFS] which maintains a very selective policy of granting these licenses. Genesis Trading and Square are other exchanges that hold a BitLicense.
Maria T. Vullo, a financial services superintendent at the department stated:
“DFS continues to lead the way in responsibly supervising and advancing innovation in New York’s flourishing financial technology sector through a strong state-based regulatory regime.”
Despite being only a year-old, Robinhood has expanded to over 30 states throughout the US. Launched in the infamous “crypto-bloom” at the beginning of 2018, the crypto-exchange which boasted zero-commission managed to amass a million sign-ups in a matter of days. Proponents even pegged Robinhood to be a potential rival to Coinbase.
The move also drew praise from cryptocurrency free market advocacy groups. Casey Botticello, President of the Cryptocurrency Alliance, stated:
“Millennials are set to have the largest global income of any generation by 2020, however, the demographic group continues to lag behind their elders when it comes to investing in the stock market. The top reason Millennials cite for not owning stocks, bonds, or cryptocurrencies is not having enough money. Microinvesting, which offers lower barriers to entry than traditional investments, offers an affordable way for cash-strapped Millennials to build their portfolio, while also allowing them to invest in alternative investments, such as cryptocurrency.”
Robinhood, valued at a whopping $5.6 billion, will be offering trading services for seven of the top cryptocurrencies, which will include the likes of Bitcoin [BTC], Ethereum [ETH], Bitcoin Cash [BCH], Litecoin [LTC], among others that are yet to be confirmed.
Vlad Tenev, the co-CEO of Robinhood stated in a press release:
“We’re delighted that Robinhood Crypto has been granted a virtual currency license and a money transmitter license in New York. This will complement the larger suite of investment services that New Yorkers already have access to on the Robinhood platform.”
In addition to their cryptocurrency exchange services, the exchange also caters to the financial technology industry. Back in December, to diversify their operations, the exchange launched their checking and savings account, complete with a debit card facility and no minimum balance.
LibertyX, the Bitcoin ATM provider was also granted a BitLicense by the state, making it the first licensed company to allow New York residents to purchase Bitcoins using debit cards via ATMs, stated a press release by the company. Facilitating the same, Coinsource, an operator and a manufacturer of Bitcoin Teller Machines was granted a BitLicense last year.