According to sources familiar with the matter, Coinbase is close to receiving a BitLicense from the New York Department of Financial Services.
The NYDFS received an application from Coinbase according to an April 28 notice published on the regulator’s website. The notices, usually published after digital currency firms have completed the regulator’s paperwork, signal that the licensing process is nearly complete.
The exact time of when the license will be approved is not yet known, but it could be soon. When Circle received the first BitLicense in September of last year, they had said they applied in July.
The NYDFS introduced the BitLicense in 2014 as regulatory framework for “virtual currency” (bitcoin and other digital currencies) businesses and residents in the State of New York. The release of the regulatory framework for bitcoin companies operating in New York was controversial to say the least. However, this hasn’t stopped many businesses including Circle, Coinbase and others, from applying for the license in order to serve customers who have been limited in options since the introduction of the license.
Other bitcoin exchanges have taken a different approach to being able to serve customers in New York, such as itBit, and Gemini who received a charter by the NYDFS which allows them to accept both individual and institutional customers under New York Banking Law.