Bitstamp Licensed in Europe

News and Analysis

Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp has officially confirmed it signed an agreement with the government of Luxembourg, which would enable it to launch regulated and licensed services throughout all 28 nations of the European Union.

The permission is effective as of July 1, when Bitstamp officially starts operating in Luxembourg.

The exchange’s statement on their website reads:

“This is an unprecedented moment for the bitcoin, and brings with it a new era of security and transparency to the industry. The news is the result of a rigorous application process with the Luxembourg financial regulator, the Luxembourg Financial Industry Supervisory Commission (known as CSSF) spanning nearly two years, which included security reviews in addition to an audit by Ernst & Young Luxembourg. Bitstamp’s license is passportable into the 28 EU member states providing all European customers with a robust, secure platform for bitcoin trading.”

“I believe this announcement marks a milestone for Bitcoin and digital finance in Europe,” Luxembourg’s Minister of Finance Pierre Gramegna stated.

The European license also gives Bitstamp new opportunities in regard of partnership with banking institutions.

“We believe that this is stability-inducing — that people will see this as a sign of Bitcoin going mainstream. It also allows us to be taken seriously and partner up with more serious institutions, because we had a lot of discussions in the past but it always comes to a point where there’s no one overseeing us, and bigger financial institutions are still reluctant to work with unlicensed companies doing [financial technology],” Bitstamp CEO, Nejc Kodric told Forbes.

In particular, Kodric suggests that operators and brokers could place BTC/USD or BTC/EUR pairs, and use Bitstamp’s capability of fulfilling its obligations on time.

Bitstamp was founded in Slovenia in 2011. Currently, it is one of Europe’s biggest Bitcoin startups offering cryptocurrency trading services and selling physical gold. In March 2014, the exchange raised $10 million from Pantera Capital.

According to Bitcoin Charts, Bitstamp is currently fourth biggest bitcoin exchange in terms of trade volumes in USD, outranked only by Bitfinex, BTC-e, and Coinbase.

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