New York Grants BitLicenses to Robinhood Crypto and LibertyX
On January 24, 2019, the New York Department of Financial Services (the “DFS”) announced that it had granted BitLicenses to Robinhood Crypto, LLC and Moon Inc. (d/b/a LibertyX). These are the fifteenth and sixteenth BitLicenses granted by the DFS since the final BitLicense rules were released in 2015.
Robinhood Crypto is a subsidiary of popular stock trading platform Robinhood, which allows users to make commission-free trades of stocks, ETFs, options and select digital assets online and through a smartphone app. The BitLicense, along with a New York state money transmitter license also granted this month, authorizes Robinhood Crypto to offer services for buying, selling and storing Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum Classic and Bitcoin SV to New York residents. LibertyX allows customers to buy Bitcoin with their debit cards through traditional ATM transactions. In October, LibertyX partnered with Genmega, Inc., which supplies over 100,000 ATMs throughout the United States, to upgrade their ATMs to enable purchases of Bitcoin. Readers of our blog may recall that Coinsource, Inc. similarly received a BitLicense in November 2018 to operate “Bitcoin Teller Machines” that allowed customers to buy and sell Bitcoin for cash.
Robinhood Crypto and LibertyX already actively conduct their respective “virtual currency business activities” in other states and expect to roll out their services to New York in the coming months.