NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) said on Monday it had granted a virtual currency license to bitcoin payments processor BitPay.
BitPay, which was founded in 2011, is authorized to offer clearing and settlement services to merchants willing to accept payment in bitcoin or issue payments in bitcoin.
It is the first virtual currency wholesale payments processor to be approved for a license, the DFS said.
In a statement, DFS said it has conducted a comprehensive review of BitPay's application, including the company’s anti-money laundering, anti-fraud, capitalization, consumer protection, and cybersecurity policies. The new licensee is subject to ongoing supervision by DFS.
With the BitPay approval, the DFS has now approved ten firms for virtual currency charters or licenses for the state of New York - Square, Xapo Inc, Genesis Global Trading Inc, bitFlyer USA, Coinbase Inc, XRP II and Circle Internet Financial, and charters to Gemini Trust Co and itBit Trust Co.
BitPay said numerous businesses around the world have signed up with the company to accept bitcoin payments, including companies such as Microsoft, Newegg, Namecheap, Gyft, Takeaway, and Virgin Galactic.
Companies who accept bitcoin and bitcoin cash with BitPay can enable transactions from any computer or mobile device, the company said. As a push transaction, the user sends the exact amount of bitcoin or bitcoin cash needed to pay the bill and minimizes the incidence of traditional credit card fraud and identity theft.
(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)