Crypto Firm Cumberland Gets New York BitLicense


The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has granted a BitLicense to Cumberland, a prominent cryptocurrency trading firm. This crucial license allows Cumberland to operate legally within New York as a virtual currency company.

The news, announced by Cumberland on June 17th, signifies the firm’s intention to build “strong trading relationships with institutional New York counterparties.” Notably, Cumberland claims to be not only one of the few companies holding a BitLicense (currently only 33 are listed on the NYDFS website), but also “one of the only principal trading firms” to achieve this distinction.

Since 2015, New York has mandated most crypto businesses operating within the state to acquire a BitLicense. This regulatory framework aims to ensure consumer protection and financial stability within the digital asset industry. However, the program has faced criticism, with some like New York City Mayor Eric Adams arguing that it hinders innovation and economic growth.

Enforcement and Regulatory Scrutiny

The NYDFS’s commitment to regulating the crypto space is further highlighted by its ongoing legal case against Genesis Global Trading and crypto exchange Gemini. These firms were accused of defrauding investors through the Gemini Earn program. In January 2024, Genesis agreed to settle with the NYDFS, surrendering its BitLicense and paying an $8 million fine. Additionally, the New York Attorney General’s office reached separate settlements with both companies, effectively banning them from operating in the state and offering crypto lending services, respectively.

Despite the recent regulatory actions, Cumberland’s acquisition of a BitLicense signifies a vote of confidence from the NYDFS. This accomplishment is particularly noteworthy considering Fidelity’s selection of Cumberland as one of the firms to trade Bitcoin for their groundbreaking spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) launched in January.

Cumberland, operating across North America, Europe, and Asia, is a well-established player in the global crypto market. Securing a BitLicense strengthens its position as a trusted partner for institutional investors seeking exposure to digital assets within the highly regulated New York financial landscape.

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Author: Sb

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