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New York Approves Virtual Currency License, Bitcoin Price Spikes

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Square Inc. shares climbed to their highest price ever after New York granted the company a virtual-currency license, letting customers in the state buy and sell Bitcoin. Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey said earlier this year that the company would introduce Bitcoin trading to almost all users of Square Cash, which allows people to transfer money to friends and family. Bitcoin trading has helped fuel growth for the app, which had more than 7 million monthly active customers in December. The New York State Department of Financial Services said Monday it had approved a virtual currency license for the company. Users of the “Cash” mobile payments app could trade the cryptocurrency in New York. Cash is owned by Square and has 7 million monthly active users

Bitcoin spiked on Monday afternoon following the news. The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization gained more than 4.5 percent to $6,793, its highest since Tuesday, according to CoinDesk’s bitcoin price index. Bitcoin was trading near $6,694 as of 3:56 p.m. ET.

The license that brings legitimacy, prestige

The license granted to Square (NYSE:SQ) is referred to as BitLicense. Observers note that it is extremely difficult to secure due to the strict restrictions the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has in place.

The DFS’s Superintendent, Maria Vullo, said the following:

“DFS is pleased to approve Square’s application and welcomes them to New York’s expanding and well-regulated virtual currency market. DFS continues to work in support of a vibrant and competitive virtual currency market that connects and empowers New Yorkers in a global marketplace while ensuring strong state-regulatory oversight is in place.”

 

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