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US

Bittrex Approved as a Money Transmitter in Rhode Island Two Weeks After NYDFS Blow

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Bittrex MTA pic

With an adjusted volume of around $70.8 million, according to data streams from coinmarketcap, Bittrex is the 54th largest exchange in the world and one of the pioneering US based exchange in the world. Good news is, despite headwinds, Bittrex has been approved as a Money Transmitter in the state of Rhode Island. Backed with a License Number NMLS ID 1544336, Rhode Island customers can subsequently join the exchange’s USD market joining the likes of California, Alabama and most US states. The exchange has more than 1.67 million customers across the world and in their stead, they offer more than 200 currencies including an OTC Trading desk they opened early 2019.

Consequently, the exchange now supports eligible personal and corporate accounts from the state to participate in USD-related trading, deposit and withdrawal. Even so, all participants are required to submit their data and other personal identification documents thanks to stringent KYC and AML rules enforced by the country’s regulator.

The NYDFS BitLicense Blow

The announcement is a reprieve, coming two weeks after the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), rejected the on-ramp BitLicense application four years after their application. Citing various flaws including inadequate BSA/AML/OFAC Compliance Program as well as inadequate capital and customer diligence, the NYFS office said:

“Throughout Bittrex’s application process, the Department worked steadily with Bittrex to address continued deficiencies and to assist Bittrex in developing appropriate controls and compliance programs commensurate with the evolving nature of the sector.”

The move by the NYDFS was the first in two years and their claim that the exchange’s “failure to demonstrate that it will conduct its business honestly, fairly, equitably, carefully, and efficiently” meant the exchange had to wind down their operation within the state in two months after their confirmation.

Even so, Bittrex responded to these accusations saying it fully disputes the NYFDS findings and their directive to close down would instead harm rather than protect NY customers that the state so cares about. In a letter, they said:

“Corporate responsibility is in our DNA and our commitment to regulatory and compliance guidelines is second to none. More specifically, today’s letter (from the DFS) contains several factual inaccuracies.”

Besides, the CEO, Bill Shihara acknowledged that despite their desire, they were not making any profits in the strict state thanks to high compliance costs but chose to “because we really felt strongly that the taxes that we paid for operating our business in the U.S. are worth it.”

Jason Lee is a writer for various crypto publications and manages a small team on Medium. His love of technology and inquisitive nature set him up with crypto back in early 2016 and he hasn’t looked back since. In his spare time, Jason enjoys rock climbing and wakeboarding.

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