Virtual Currency

Virtual Currency

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Information for Applicants

To conduct virtual currency business activity in New York State, entities can either apply for a BitLicense or for a charter under the New York Banking Law (for example, as a New York State limited purpose trust company or New York State bank) with approval to conduct virtual currency business. While these forms of authorization are similar, a New York state limited purpose trust company charter may provide some additional benefits. For example, a limited purpose trust company can exercise fiduciary powers, while a BitLicensee cannot. In addition, a limited purpose trust company can engage in money transmission in New York without obtaining a separate New York money transmitter license. For more information about applying for a limited purpose trust charter, visit Commercial Banks & Trusts.

BitLicense Application and License Management

The Department of Financial Services uses the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry (NMLS) to manage the BitLicense. NMLS is a secure web-based system created by state regulators to provide efficiencies in the processing of state licenses and improve supervision of state-regulated industries. Through NMLS, companies maintain a single record to apply for, amend, surrender and change license authorities in one or more states, and make reports conveniently and safely online.

First-Time Access to NMLS

To access NMLS for the first time, you must complete a Company Account Request Form and identify a Primary Account Administrator and a Secondary Account Administrator. This form can be submitted electronically through the NMLS website in the “Getting Started” section. This form needs to be submitted only once per company, regardless of the number of NMLS participating states in which you are licensed.

Within three days of completing and submitting the Company Account Request Form, the Primary Account Administrator will receive NMLS login information. The Primary Account Administrator will have full rights to access the system, submit information to this agency and other participating state regulators, and set up other company users in the system. Instructions and tutorials on how to access and use the system are also available in the NMLS Resource Center.

Managing Your License on NMLS

Each company holding a BitLicense who wishes to manage their license on NMLS must create a company record in the system (see above). Current New York State BitLicensees whose applications were submitted before the integration of the BitLicense into NMLS may transition their licenses to NMLS.  See the DFS Virtual Currency Business Activity Company License Transition Checklist on the NMLS website for more information.

Submitting a Complete Application

To submit an application, please follow the instructions on the Virtual Currency Business Activity Checklist. No application shall be deemed ready for substantive review until the Department has received all required information, documents, and fees. 

In the process of reviewing and considering the application, DFS may request additional information and supporting documents. 

More information on the Department’s application review process can be found in the DFS License Application Procedures.

In the application process, an NMLS Identification Number will be assigned to your application. Please maintain a record of this NMLS Identification Number, as it will be used as your application reference number throughout the remainder of the application process. The applicant’s NMLS Identification Number must be included on every hard-copy document submitted to the Department.

Note: If the applicant has already submitted Forms MU1 and MU2 through NMLS for another state, the applicant does not need to re-enter the company record into NMLS. However, the applicant is required to provide jurisdiction-specific information to support its New York State application.

Useful Links and Forms