The NYFDS requires any businesses conducting cryptocurrency transactions with New York residents to be licensed to operate within the state even if the companies are based elsewhere.
In 2019, ErisX was also awarded a Derivatives Clearing Organization (DCO) license from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for its futures market and clearinghouse. As a result, ErisX entities are licensed to operate in 47 states and jurisdictions, including New York.
Eris Clearing, the clearing and settlement arm of ErisX, has been awarded the hard-to-come-by Virtual Currency License from New York’s Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).
“We are pleased that the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) recognized our commitment to the high standards we borrowed from existing capital markets structures and applied them to the cryptocurrency space”, said Thomas Chippas, CEO of ErisX, in a press release.
Formally launched in June 2015, the BitLicense was designed by the NYDFS to provide a framework for companies looking to services relating to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies such as trading or custody.
Towards the end of 2019, the BitLicense came under review from NYDFS Superintendent Linda Lacewell, who said it was “good to take a close look” at the platforms operating in the emerging cryptocurrency industry, and to reflect the changes to the space since 2015.
“DFS continues its commitment to fostering financial innovation in New York”, said Superintendent Lacewell. “Today’s approval is another step in expanding virtual currency activities in the State and promoting New York’s support for financial innovation, which will be especially important as we work to reopen the economy of the world’s financial capital.”
Discussing the news, Chippas told CoinDesk: “Our work with regulators is always open and transparent, which allows us to build innovative products and services while still operating a compliant and safe business.”
“Having recently announced alignments with Fidelity Investments and TradeStation Crypto we look forward to welcoming New York based individuals and institutions to the spot platform now that we are able to do so,” he said.
ErisX Announces Launch of First US Ether Futures Contracts
Crypto derivatives platform ErisX is launching ether futures contracts, it announced Monday in a blog post.The new contracts, the first futures contracts for the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap in the U.S., will begin trading effective immediately, ErisX announced. The move comes a few days after ErisX announced it had received a virtual currency license from the New York Department of Financial Services, and would begin offering trading services in what is the nation’s most stringent regulatory regime.
“Starting today individual and institutional investors can access physically delivered futures contracts based on ETH-USD with monthly and quarterly expirations. The ErisX futures exchange trades alongside the ErisX spot market on a unified and innovative platform enabling price transparency and collateral efficiencies,” the blog post said.
Physically-settled futures contracts deliver actual tokens upon expiry, rather than the fiat equivalent.
Ether futures have long been under consideration by U.S. regulators. In May 2019, an official with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) told CoinDesk that it would be willing to approve ether futures provided the proposed contracts met the regulatory requirements.
CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert, who took office last summer, echoed these remarks later in 2019, going so far as to anticipate the launch of ether future contracts in 2020.
“It is my view as chairman of the CFTC that ether is a commodity,” he said in October.