New York State Department of Financial Services Grants BitLicense to Bakkt


New York Financial Services Superintendent Linda A. Lacewell announced on Thursday the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has approved the application of Bakkt Marketplace, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bakkt Holdings, LLC, for virtual currency and money transmitter licenses. According to the DFS, the license will allow Bakkt Marketplace to offer its New York customers the ability to buy and sell virtual currency and subject to DFS’s supervision of its licensed activities.

As previously reported, Bakkt is a regulated digital asset exchange that also provides a digital wallet. The company is notably the creation of the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange. Speaking about the approval,  Superintendent Lacewell, stated:

“With new technology advancing every day, DFS is proud to be at the forefront of financial innovation through our continuous efforts to set the conditions for virtual currency companies to germinate and grow. Responsible innovation will blaze a path to a brighter future. This approval provides additional virtual currency options to New Yorkers as the state continues to rebuild and recover.”

Bakkt CEO Gavin Michael, further commented:

“We’re extremely proud to be awarded a BitLicense by the New York State Department of Financial Services. This represents a major milestone to achieving our vision of making digital assets accessible to all, and we’re thrilled to continue driving innovation in this rapidly evolving industry, highlighted by the upcoming launch of the Bakkt App.”

The bitlicense news comes two months after Bakkt became a publicly-traded fintech through a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC). Bakkt Holdings, LLC and VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings (NASDAQ: VIH), a SPAC sponsored by Victory Park Capital, have entered into a definitive agreement for a business combination that will result in Bakkt trading on the NYSE with an enterprise value of approximately $2.1 billion. At the time of the announcement, Michael shared:

“The average consumer holds a wealth of digital assets but rarely tracks their value and lacks the tools to manage and utilize them. I’m excited to join the management team of a company, at this important time in its expansion, whose vision is to bring trust and transparency to digital assets through innovation and technology and, through that process, unlock trillions of dollars currently held in customer and loyalty accounts and allow consumers to put them to work.”

Since 2015, DFS has granted 29 virtual currency licenses or trust charters, including Bakkt’s virtual currency license.

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