New York regulator issues 1st license for virtual currency to Circle Internet Financial

Associated Press

New York regulators have approved their first license to a company dealing in virtual currency such as bitcoin.

The Department of Financial Services says Circle Internet Financial has outlined security, capitalization, controls against money laundering and other measures to protect consumers and root out illicit activities.

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Department spokesman Matt Anderson says regulators are reviewing applications from 24 other companies under final rules adopted in June.

Bitcoin is a virtual currency that can be used to buy and sell some goods and services without government-issued money. It has been gaining the backing of investors and mainstream businesses, including major online retailers.

The digital currency is created by computers that run complex algorithmic formulas.

Circle did not initially reply to a query Tuesday.