NEW YORK (Reuters) – The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) today announced that it has granted a virtual currency license to Bitcoin bitcoin payment processor.
A woman explains how Bitpay, a company designed to help companies use virtual currency, a participant during the "Inside Bitcoins: the future of virtual currency" conference in New York on April 8, 2014. REUTERS / Lucas Jackson
BitPay, founded in 2011, is authorized to offer clearing and settlement services to merchants willing to accept bitcoin payments or issue bitcoin payments.
The DFS has said it is the first virtual currency payment processor to be approved for a license.
In a statement, DFS claimed to have conducted a comprehensive review of the application of BitPay, including anti-money laundering, anti-fraud, capitalization, consumer protection and cyber security policies. The new licensee is subject to continuous supervision by DFS.
With the approval of BitPay, DFS has now approved ten companies for virtual credit cards 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 Cards for Gemini Trust Co and itBit Trust Co.
BitPay said that many companies around the world have registered with the company to accept bitcoin payments, including companies like Microsoft, Newegg, Namecheap, Gyft, Takeaway and Virgin Galactic.
Companies that accept bitcoin and bitcoin money 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 bitcoins or bitcoins needed to pay the bill and minimizes the incidence of traditional credit card fraud and identity theft.
Report by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Phil Berlowitz