Virtual Currency Business Activity (BitLicense)
As stated in 23 NYCRR 200.3(a), “No Person shall, without a license obtained from the superintendent …, engage in any Virtual Currency Business Activity.”
23 NYCRR 200.2(q) provides, in part: "Virtual Currency Business Activity means the conduct of any one of the following types of activities involving New York or a New York Resident:
- receiving Virtual Currency for Transmission or Transmitting Virtual Currency, except where the transaction is undertaken for non-financial purposes and does not involve the transfer of more than a nominal amount of Virtual Currency;
- storing, holding, or maintaining custody or control of Virtual Currency on behalf of others;
- buying and selling Virtual Currency as a customer business;
- performing Exchange Services as a customer business; or
- controlling, administering or issuing a Virtual Currency.”
For licensing requirements see 23 NYCRR Part 200.
Applications and License Management
The Department manages license applications and ongoing regulation of virtual currency business activity and applications via the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry (NMLS).
In December 2019, DFS proposed two new measures to enhance efficiency and enable DFS-regulated virtual currency businesses to offer and use new coins in a timely fashion: (1) a public list of coins that are permitted for the Virtual Currency Business Activities of DFS-regulated virtual currency businesses without DFS’s prior approval, and (2) a proposed model framework for the creation of company-specific coin-listing or -adoption policies that, if approved by DFS, will enable regulated virtual currency businesses to self-certify additional coins without DFS’s prior approval. DFS is seeking comments from all interested parties and the general public regarding the proposed measures, to be submitted by January 27, 2020, to [email protected] (using the subject line “Proposed Coin Listing Policy Framework”). Please note that comments may be subject to public inspection, and should not include any sensitive or confidential information.
The Department has prepared responses to a series of frequently asked questions about the BitLicense, including which activities may require licensure and which may be exempt. These questions and answers may be updated from time to time as necessary.
Questions regarding the VC license or licensing process may be referred to DFS at [email protected] and should include your full contact information.