Another regulating body has distanced itself from the “licensed” Coinbase Exchange.

The newly launched Coinbase Exchange appears to be operating without a license in New York as well as in California. The BitLicense project is still not finalised so no bitcoin companies enjoy such a privilege yet, a NY Department of Financial Services’ representative told The New York Times.

In the meantime, the exchange may not necessarily need a license to operate in the state. Matthew Anderson, a spokesman for NYDFS superintendant Benjamin M. Lawsky stated:

“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.”

Another person from Mr Lawsky’s office told the NYT on condition of anonymity that in the future a bitcoin exchange would likely need both a money transmission license and a BitLicense to operate under state law. Such a proposal may soon be unveiled by the regulator.

According to Fred Ehrsam, one of the co-founders of Coinbase, the company will continue to work with NYDFS “on all Bitcoin matters involving consumers, merchants and the recently launched Coinbase Exchange. We also look forward to continuing to work together on the completion of New York’s BitLicense.”

The NYT article suggests that earlier statements by Coinbase or any tension between the company and regulators could make havoc of  “carefully orchestrated efforts in the industry to improve Bitcoin’s reputation with the authorities”.
The NYDFS clarification follows a similar statement made by the California regulator yesterday. The California Department of Business Oversight warned customers that Coinbase Exchange was not regulated or licensed by the state.
A Coinbase representative told CoinDesk that in fact the company had received licenses in 14 US states, while in eight other states such licenses were not required. He reportedly called New York and California a regulatory “grey zone” for bitcoin.