Cryptocurrency Regulations in New York

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Cryptocurrency Regulations in New York

The State of New York has long been a leader in financial services, including evolving regulations to keep up with the changing landscape of financial transactions. One specific evolution in recent years has been the rise of cryptocurrency transactions, and the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has taken steps to regulate virtual currencies. The state enacted the “BitLicense Regulations,” which regulate who can engage in virtual currency transactions and business activity, establish licensure requirements, and guide compliance for licensed entities. 

The goal of the BitLicense Regulations is largely to prevent abusive or fraudulent practices common among entities that operate in cryptocurrency. However, these regulations also create hurdles for financial institutions that do not yet have a BitLicense or that need assistance with compliance with the ever-changing regulatory landscape. 

At Bates Group LLC, we work with clients dealing in cryptocurrency and help them ensure they meet all licensing and regulatory requirements. As New York keeps adapting its policies to better regulate this corner of the financial industry, we help our clients adapt their compliance policies and programs. Please contact our specialists regarding cryptocurrency regulations in New York today. 

BitLicensing Requirements in NY

Regulations regarding BitLicenses establish which businesses need a license, including companies that engage in “Virtual Currency Business Activity” involving the State of New York or its residents. Such activities include:

  • Transmitting or receiving a transmission of virtual currency
  • Maintaining control or custody or virtual currency for another party, including storing or holding virtual currency
  • Issuing or administering virtual currency
  • Selling and buying virtual currency as a customer business
  • Exchanging virtual currency as a customer business

Our team knows how to evaluate your company’s operations and assess whether you require a BitLicense under New York regulations. 

While at first, few entities actually qualified for BitLicenses, the number of successful applications is increasing each year. If you receive a license, the regulations then set out many requirements with which you must comply. Some of these include:

  • The appointment of a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) who will develop and maintain a cybersecurity policy and program that effectively protects data accessibility, integrity, and confidentiality
  • Annual reports provided to the NYDFS
  • Annual audits of financial statements
  • Quarterly submissions of financial statements
  • No new services, activities, or products without approval from the superintendent (as well as no material changes to existing services, activities, or products)

The regulations were enacted fairly quickly to address the swift rise in cryptocurrency, and the NYDFS is still adjusting certain regulations and compliance requirements. Even if the current rules seem overly strict, it is critical to ensure compliance if you would like to obtain or maintain a BitLicense and/or operate in virtual currency in New York. 

Speak to Our Specialists Regarding Cryptocurrency Regulations in New York

The regulations revolving around cryptocurrency in New York are strict, complex, and confusing. At Bates Group LLC, our consultants examine your company’s operations or desired operations and help to clear the path to compliance and virtual currency transactions. Please contact us for a consultation today. 

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