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Square Gains a Hard to Get Virtual Currency License in New York


Bitcoin’s price was roaring after digital payment company Square was approved by New York’s Department of Financial Services for crypto trading on its Cash app.

The company was granted a virtual currency license, also known as a BitLicense, that allows users of Square’s (NYSE:SQ) Cash app to trade bitcoin in the state of New York.

The BitLicense isn’t the easiest license to get and New York especially is considered to be one of the strictest states when it comes to regulating cryptocurrency firms.

NYDFS said in a statement that it granted approval to the company only after a comprehensive review of Square’s “anti-money laundering, anti-fraud, capitalization, consumer protection, and cybersecurity policies.”

Currently Square’s Cash app has about 7 million active users according to the company’s first earnings call.

Shortly after the news, bitcoin saw its price spike by over 4.5% to $6,793 according to CoinDesk.

Shares of Square also hit a new 52-week high after the announcement. The stock has gained nearly 90% this year so far.

With the license, New York users of the Cash app will be able to trade bitcoin. Bitcoin trading launched for most of the company’s Cash users in late January.

Financial Services Superintendent, Maria T. Vullo stated, “DFS is pleased to approve Square’s application and welcome 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.”

Nomura Instinet analyst Dan Dolev, remarked, “That was one of the missing pieces in their puzzle. They had approval in most states but New York was by far the biggest one where you couldn’t trade bitcoin.”

He continued, “This announcement gives people another excuse to download the app” and that the it “definitely helps from a marketing perspective.”

The company’s Cash App tweeted, “? Our customers in New York state can now buy and sell Bitcoin instantly with Cash App! http://cash.app/download  ?”

Square CEO Jack Dorsey, who also leads Twitter, believes that bitcoin will become the world’s “single currency.”

Dorsey said earlier this year, “The world ultimately will have a single currency, the internet will have a single currency. I personally believe that it will be bitcoin.” The CEO believes it will “probably over ten years, but it could go faster.”

“It’s slow and it’s costly, but as more and more people have it, those things go away. There are newer technologies that build off of blockchain and make it more approachable,” he has also said.

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