New York has never been a crypto-friendly haven. Thanks to the regulations set forth by the now infamous BitLicense, the Big Apple has garnered a reputation for allegedly being anti-blockchain.
The BitLicense Is About to Lighten Up
But now, changes are being made to the region’s regulatory protocols that may make things easier for crypto companies looking to do business in the city that doesn’t sleep. The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has suggested adding new legislation and updating the BitLicense so that crypto companies to add more digital coins to their offerings.
This would allow investors to diversify their portfolios even further and take advantage of the many cryptocurrency units available for trading and purchase.
The NYDFS is also seeking to add a page to its website that shows all the coins that are presently available and which ones will be added. This way, there’s no confusion about which coins are acceptable when a crypto company is looking to offer its services in the Big Apple.
Superintendent Linda Lacewell explains:
In order to get a license, they go through all that trouble, they have their AML and sanctions [compliance] – then they want to reach out with respect to a new coin and even if we’ve already approved that coin 175 times, they have to come back to us with a new application… Government is juggling 100 other things. How long does it take to complete this application? It can take months. I’m embarrassed to say there are at least one or two that took longer than a couple months. Sometimes it’s needed, but sometimes it’s not.
In any case, it sounds like a very rough – and above all, time consuming – process for most crypto businesses to go through. This is designed to assure all companies what is acceptable and what is not, so they don’t spend so much time asking what’s right for their business and instead focus more on ensuring their operations are going smoothly.
Reactions to the BitLicense’s introduction in 2015 have been somewhat mixed, with some companies – such as the Gemini Exchange operated by the Winklevoss Twins – seeking to garner licenses right away so that services can be offered to New York residents.
Others, however, such as Kraken, believed that the BitLicense was designed to stifle innovation. The proposal required heavy fees from companies seeking to offer crypto-related services, and many felt this was meant to force businesses into closing early. After all, many startups did not have the money the BitLicense was asking for.
Many Aren’t Happy with New York
Thus, many companies have simply packed up their bags and left the Big Apple, swearing to avoid all further business within the region.
The NYDFS is seeking comments on its new proposal by late January.