BitPay, the bitcoin (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) payments processor, has been granted a virtual currency license 'BitLicense' by the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS). It means BitPay is now authorized to offer clearing and settlement services to merchants willing to accept payment in bitcoin or issue payments in bitcoin and is the first wholesale payments processor to be approved for a license.

DFS conducted a comprehensive review of BitPay’s application, including the company’s anti-money laundering, anti-fraud, capitalization, consumer protection, and cybersecurity policies. The new licensee is subject to ongoing supervision by DFS.

Stephen Pair, CEO, BitPay said:

“This is an important milestone for BitPay to secure the virtual currency license from the New York Department of Financial Services and be the first non-exchange to do so. We believe this gives businesses not only in New York but across the country confidence that blockchain technology offers clear benefits to businesses engaged in e-commerce and cross-border transfers.”

DFS Superintendent Maria T. Vullo said:

“We continue to work to support 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.”

With the BitPay approval, DFS has now approved ten firms for virtual currency charters or licenses. For licenses, the other firms are Square, Inc., Xapo, Inc., Genesis Global Trading Inc., bitFlyer USA, Coinbase Inc., XRP II and Circle Internet Financial. And for charters, Gemini Trust Company and Paxos (formerly itBit Trust Company) are the two firms.