Bitcoin exchange itBit has filed for a New York banking licence, which, if accepted, could make the exchange the first bitcoin company to be regulated as a bank in the United States.
Approval for the licence may come in the next few weeks, Reuters sources said. Spokespeople for both itBit and New York’s department of financial services confirmed the filing, the report added. However, in a later statement to CoinDesk, a spokesperson for itBit said that the company had not confirmed its banking licence plans to Reuters.
The application is part of the exchange’s plans to expand its businesses into new, regulated areas of financial services. Last year itBit moved its primary headquarters to New York last year, and hired eBay’s Erik Wilgenhof Plante as chief compliance officer.
ItBit’s bank application lists former Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation chairman Sheila Bair, former Financial Accounting Standards Board director Robert Herz and former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley as “organisers” – those responsible for setting up limited liability companies in New York, without necessarily holding operating positions within them.
itBit chief executive Charles ‘Chad’ Cascarilla is also named as an organiser, as well as Cedar Hill Capital Partners co-founder Emil Woods.
The company is backed by Canaan Partners, RRE Ventures and Liberty City Ventures, and has raised $3.3 million since its founding in 2012. ItBit has been looking for additional funding from investors like Cedar Hill to fund its new business ventures, the Reuters report added.
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