itBit Established as First US-Chartered Bitcoin Exchange
May 11, 2015
Cleary Gottlieb represented itBit Trust Company in becoming the first U.S.-chartered and regulated virtual currency exchange. itBit, a commercial Bitcoin exchange, received its trust company charter from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) on May 6, 2015, and opened for operations in New York for U.S. customers on May 7, 2015. itBit is an affiliate of itBit Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based Bitcoin exchange serving non-U.S. customers.
Following hearings on virtual currency developments, in March 2014 NYDFS invited applications for creation of virtual currency exchanges under the New York Banking Law. Building on its strategy of regulatory compliance and transparency used in its Singapore Bitcoin exchange, itBit, worked closely with Cleary Gottlieb attorneys to apply for a trust company charter in order to create a solid regulatory platform for a U.S. Bitcoin exchange. During the development and consideration of the trust company application, Cleary Gottlieb advised itBit on the many complex and novel regulatory issues involved in helping itBit obtain its trust company charter, including, but not limited to, the application of anti-money laundering, capital requirements, consumer protection, and cyber security standards in the context of virtual currency exchange activity.