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NY SPEEDING UP BITLICENSES FOR CRYPTO FIRMS. The banking authority in New York is speeding up work on its crypto company license regulatory framework, dubbed "BitLicense.”

That’s according to Adrienne Harris, the head of New York's Department of Financial Services.  Harris talked recently with about  her work on extending the DFS' licensing system for crypto businesses.

But her comments sounded like weak tea compared to other would-be crypto hubs in the U.S., like Texas and Florida, as well as rival world financial centers in places like London and Southeast Asia.

“Before my coming into DFS, the average time was up to a couple of years,” Harris told theblock. “We’re already moving much much faster. We’ve done three licenses this year, soon to do a fourth, compared to one in all of 2021.”

Introduced in 2015, NY regulations have resulted in only about 20 firms being licensed to deal in and offer crypto related assets in the state.  Many have called the stringent requirements a regulatory nightmare.

The Trends Journal has previously covered the impact in stories including “NY BITLICENSE IS DRIVING CRYPTO INNOVATION AWAY” (15 Feb 2022), “CRYPTO CAPITOL: WALL STREET 2.0” (30 Nov 2021), and even back to “Stiff regs could be ahead for Bitcoin” (7 Aug 2014).

Because of the regulations, some of the largest crypto exchanges have chosen not to operate in New York, and residents have had difficulty in buying some of the most promising enterprise grade crypto tokens, including Constellation and Hedera.

Even NYC’s own public works token hasn’t been available to New Yorkers, since exchanges offering the token as an investment weren’t operating in the state.

New York City mayor Eric Adams, who ran his 2021 campaign on a crypto-friendly platform, called for the BitLicense to be phased out at a recent lecture 26 April. 

But Harris drew analogies with prior history in how the state became a banking and financial leader, to argue that the New York approach was not meant to be negative on crypto technology, but to foster a responsible approach.

“New York had the first banking law in the country, before there was federal banking law there was new york banking law in the 1800s. And Wall Street is here in New York. It’s not in DC. We have a great regulatory regime. We’re going to improve the operation of it, but the regs themselves I think are wonderful.”

Many New Yorkers and crypto businesses would beg to differ. 

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