New York-based crypto exchange itBit announced that it has received approval from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) to add four major cryptocurrencies to its offering list, CoinDesk reports.
The exchange now lists five coins – Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Stellar Lumens – for trading and will also extend its custody and escrow services to the new coins which it currently provides for Bitcoin. In addition, it will also provide over-the-counter(OTC) trading services; a much-needed one for the institutional investors.
Announcing the new listings, Chad Cascarilla, CEO of itBit, said:
This is an important milestone for itBit as we create a broader platform for crypto asset investors. We are committed to the growth and evolution of this ecosystem and DFS approval allows us to offer more trading and custody services across a wider range of crypto assets.
Unlike most of the US-based exchanges, itBit is one of the five exchanges based in New York and was the first exchange to acquire an operating license (BitLicense) (as required by New York Banking Law) by the NYDFS.
New York, an important hub for the global financial sector, has been on the receiving end from cryptocurrency industry bigwigs, who have criticized the strict regulations on crypto markets. However, Maria T. Vallo, superintendent of the NYDFS, has criticized those who favor reduced regulation. “Toddlers play in the sandbox,” she said earlier this month. “Adults play by the rules.”
Andrew Chang, COO of itBit, said that gaining regulatory approval to list these four assets is a critical moment for enabling institutional investors to get deeper exposure to the cryptocurrency markets. He explained:
By gaining this regulatory approval, we are now able to open the doors for individuals and institutions to access crypto assets beyond just Bitcoin. This is a critical moment that will enable greater participation in these assets in a regulated and safe manner.
The majority of market analysts have predicted that enhanced interest and participation by institutional investors will fuel the industry’s next bull run and itBit is positioning itself for this boom.
A Target of Multiple Regulatory Probes
Despite the firm’s regulatory compliance pride, it has been a target of multiple regulatory probes in the U.S. recently. Cointelegraph reports that the platform was one of the crypto exchanges that received a questionnaire as part of the New York Attorney General’s cryptocurrency trading platform probe in April, and has also fallen under the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) crypto probe as one of the exchanges on which CME Group bases its Bitcoin futures trading.
Asked about the subpoenas, Cascarilla said that stringent oversight was expected as the market and technology therein continues to evolve. He said the firm supports the measures being put in place as they will enhance transparency in the market.
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