The stated purpose of the BitLicense upon its approval in 2015 by the state’s Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) was to protect consumers and guard against illicit activities like money laundering. However, the BitLicense has gone well beyond ensnaring ne’er-do-wells in crypto. By pouring pesticide on the industry, the BitLicense also zaps new shoots, indiscriminately stemming life in the sector such that only giants such as Square and Coinbase, both of which hold BitLicenses, can survive.
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