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A company or individual must obtain a Bitlicense to transmit, custody or perform exchange services, or issue a virtual currency in New York State. Since its inception, there has been exponential growth in new coins issued by BitLicensees.
A company or individual seeking Bitlicense approval must passs an inspection from a NYDFS superintendent. The superintendent will investigate the licensee’s financial condition, business experience, character, and fitness. The NYDFS requires licensees to maintain a surety bond or a trust in U.S. dollars, which is sufficient to ensure the financial integrity of the individual or company. Custodians must possess in full the amount and type of virtual currency that is under management. The minimum bond for custodians is generally $500,000. BitLicense also prescribes reporting and financial disclosure, cybersecurity, and Anti Money Laundering program requirements.
As an additional requirement, licensees must establish and maintain a plan for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR). The BCDR plan shall describe the licensee’s process for protecting essential documents, data, and protecting critical infrastructure in the event of an emergency. A licensee shall also maintain backup facilities, records, and data as identified in the BCDR plan so the business may continue.
NYDFS exempts software companies, merchants, and consumers who merely use cryptocurrency for payments or as investment vehicles.