Genesis acquires the famously onerous New York BitLicense
Genesis has become the fifth firm to attain one of the toughest crypto licences around.
Genesis has become one of the few cryptocurrency exchanges to achieve a New York BitLicense.
The controversial licence is mandatory for exchanges that want to serve New York customers, but it's notoriously difficult to get, and many of the exchanges that have applied for one have simply given up and withdrawn from New York. That is to say, they ordered their New York-based customers to quit the platforms, rather than bear the seemingly insurmountable costs associated with the licence.
To date, Coinbase, XRP LLC (Ripple affiliate) and now Gemini are among the small handful of exchanges to achieve a BitLicense, with Gemini being the fifth exchange overall to achieve it.
"We are very pleased that DFS has approved the Genesis Global Trading BitLicense application," said Michael Moro, CEO of Genesis Global Trading. "Although we have operated under a safe harbor provision in recent years, today's decision is an important step forward and reaffirms the robust compliance measures we have enacted as an established trading partner."
In addition to bitcoin, Genesis has also been approved for offerings of Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC) and Zcash (ZEC).
Genesis is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Digital Currency Group, which is also one of the big names behind the recent Consensus NYC cryptocurrency conference. It's also closely involved in informing Nasdaq's cyber-security measures for its upcoming cryptocurrency releases. That it's only just now getting a BitLicense is, in some ways, a testament to the rigours of the application process.
The New York Attorney General also recently launched an investigation of 13 cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the USA, including Genesis, but this fact-finding mission was also greeted with a fair bit of incredulity from exchanges operating in the state.
A large element of the licence is reassurances in the security of customer funds. With more than a third of all exchanges being hacked at some point, and customer funds at very real risk on exchanges, this might be an important part of ensuring consumers are protected.
Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VEN, XLM, BTC, XRB