New York Just Issued Its First-Ever Bitcoin Banking License
Global cryptocurrency exchange itBit Trust Company, LLC, is arguably the envy of the entire Bitcoin community today.
The nascent Bitcoin trading platform announced this morning that it has officially received a banking trust charter under New York State law. The groundbreaking new license makes itBit the only U.S.-chartered and supervised Bitcoin exchange compliant with New York and federal law, Techcrunch reports.
The trust company charter lends itBit “bank-like status,” as The New York Times put it, not to mention some hefty bragging rights within the Bitcoin community. “This is a big deal,” itBit co-founder and CEO Charles Cascarilla told the Times, “not just for us, but for the entire Bitcoin industry.”
The license signifies a momentous stride forward in the race to legitimize the fledgling digital currency sector, sullied in the not so distant past by sketchy, unregulated Bitcoin exchanges, like Mt. Gox and Ripple Labs. Just last week, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network slapped Ripple Labs with a $700,000 fine for breaching the bank secrecy act, among other infractions.
In addition to heralding its new license, itBit also shared the news today that it clinched a $25 million Series A venture capital financing round. Several new and existing investors participated in the raise. Among them are RRE Ventures, Liberty City Ventures and the Jordan Company. The funding will be used to “significantly scale” the startup’s products and services, as well as to hire talent to staff positions in compliance, customer service, engineering, marketing and operations, according to a statement issued by itBit.
Cascarilla, a former Wall Street financial services professional, co-founded itBit 18 months ago. The exchange is based out of New York City and Singapore. He told Techcrunch that it took his company 15 months and a thousand-plus-page application to finally win the historic charter.