Bakkt Awarded BitLicense by NYDFS, Allowing Trading in New York


Bitcoin custody firm, Bakkt Marketplace has emerged as the 29th company to receive a BitLicense from the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), per an official statement.

Bakkt’s New Licenses

In addition to the BitLicense, the bitcoin-focused subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange was also granted a money transmitter license.

BitLicense was set up in 2015 by New York regulators as a requirement for businesses to offer digital asset services in the state. Speaking on the new licenses, Bakkt CEO Gavin Michael said;

“We’re extremely proud to be awarded a BitLicense by the New York State Department of Financial Services… This represents a major milestone to achieving our vision of making digital assets accessible to all, and we’re thrilled to continue driving innovation in this rapidly evolving industry, highlighted by the upcoming launch of the Bakkt App.”

With this license, Bakkt can now offer crypto trading services to New York customers. Bakkt joins a small circle of crypto companies that operate in New York. These include Paxos, Circle, Gemini, bitFlyer, and Coinbase.

The development comes two months after Bakkt confirmed reports that it would go public via a SPAC deal. Bakkt had said it was merging with VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings at a valuation of about $2.1 billion. The VPC company was backed by investment firm Victory Park Capital, which held its initial public offering in September 2020.

The DFS And Bakkt’s History

The DFS began licensing firms engaged in virtual currency business activity in 2015 and ever since then it has continued to keep pace with the changes in the market. Its regulatory approach, while it seems appropriate, has been criticized for its stringent requirements and the difficulty in receiving approval.

Although launched in September 2019, Bakkt was first announced by its parent company Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), owner of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 2018. Its services include custody service for Bitcoin futures trading on ICE.

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