Instead of playing against the system itBit decided to find a place within it. The New York State Department of Financial Services has granted itBit the legal right to operate across the country. Thus, the bitcoin exchange becomes the first to be fully regulated in the United States.

 

“We believe Bitcoin and blockchain technology have immense potential within the system — to help make it more efficient, to offer new solutions and to bring us all into the future”, stated itBit’s CEO and co-Founder Charles Cascarilla in the official announcement published in a corporate blog post on Thursday.

On7 May, the company introduced the itBit Trust Company, the organisation to become a custodian for its clients assets. Creation of the trust was overseen by the New York State Department of Finance. The ongoing operations will be equally supervised by the regulator. By creating a trust company itBIT attains a bank-like status to guarantee its customers a whole new level of security.

“Our clients can rest assured knowing that their deposits are secure no matter the exigency. Further, our US customers will have the additional assurance that their dollars will be kept in FDIC-insured, on-shore bank accounts”, assured Mr. Cascarilla.

Consequently, ItBit can be considered as a winner in a long-lasting race between bitcoin companies to become the first regulated cryptocurrency exchange in the United States. In October 2014, NYSDFS superintendent Lawsky mentioned some well-funded institutional exchanges launched early 2015 in NYC under the current banking regulations. “Several months back, parallel to the BitLicense proposal, we also put a call-out for companies that were interested in starting institutional bitcoin exchanges in New York and we are doing that not under a new money transmission law … we're doing it under existing banking law”, Lawsky said.

In January 2015, Winklevoss brothers introduced a New York-based bitcoin exchange called Gemini. The platform was intended to be fully compliant to Benjamin Lawsky's BitLicense regulation and linked exclusively with American regulated banks but apparently it did not succeed. Later on a newly launched Coinbase exchange claimed it had already secured regulatory approval in 24 states all across the country, including New York and California. This was however refuted by Mr Lawsky’s office. “We are working with several companies, including Coinbase, on licensing and will continue to move forward expeditiously. That said, we have not yet issued any licenses to virtual currency firms”, said Matthew Anderson, a spokesman for NYDFS superintendant stated.

 

Tatiana Ilyina, Nadezda Krasnushkina