California-based financial firm SoFi has acquired a BitLicense from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), the regulator said in a statement on Dec. 3.
SoFi is now one of 24 crypto-related firms that have obtained a BitLicense since 2015, Bloomberg Law’s crypto reporter Lydia Beyoud tweeted the same day.
Specifically, SoFi has acquired two licenses — a virtual currency license (BitLicense) and a money transmitter license — that will allow SoFi Digital Assets to offer crypto trading services to its New York customers.
According to the announcement, the firm is authorized to support a total of six digital assets including Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC) and Stellar (XLM).
Client demand for solid regulations
NYDFS Superintendent Linda Lacewell noted the authority’s commitment to fostering innovation in New York’s crypto ecosystem, stating, "The Department's approval of SoFi's virtual currency and money transmitter licenses provides consumers with more choices in a continuously evolving global financial services marketplace."
SoFi CEO Anthony Noto said that the decision to pursue a BitLicense was a response to client demand:
"Putting our members' interests first is our top priority at SoFi [...] That includes both offering individuals the products they want, like cryptocurrency within SoFi Invest, as well as protecting them, through a solid regulatory framework like that created by the NYDFS.”
The news comes after the company launched zero-fee cryptocurrency trading to its platform SoFi Invest in September. SoFi, which has been in partnership with major American crypto exchange and wallet service Coinbase since February 2019, rolled out commission-free trading for BTC, ETH and LTC.
A BitLicense is a major business license for cryptocurrencies with a number of terms and conditions such as rules on operating with digital currencies, its control, administration, maintenance, storing and issuing, among others. Earlier this year, NYDFS granted a BitLicense to two subsidiaries of crypto derivatives firm Seed CX — Seed Digital Commodities Market LLC and Zero Hash LLC.