Circle Gets 1st NY BitLicense, Offers US$ Transfer, FDIC Insurance, & Free Debit Card Usage

circle-appBoston bitcoin startup Circle is the first company to receive a bitcoin license or BitLicense from the New York Department of Financial Services.

Circle also is offering US dollar services along with bitcoin, free debit card usage and various updates to its mobile apps.

Circle co-founders Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire jointly stated:

Today we took another step toward realizing that goal. Now in the United States, you can send, receive, and hold US dollars in addition to using bitcoin for payments within the Circle app.

You can enjoy the benefits of Bitcoin without ever holding or buying bitcoin yourself, and without being exposed to bitcoin price volatility. Even if you prefer to hold US dollars in your Circle account, you gain security, speed, and open interoperability with bitcoin wallets and services around the globe. You can hold US dollars but still send someone bitcoin, and likewise someone can send you bitcoin and Circle can instantly turn it into US dollars in your account.

And if you still prefer to hold bitcoin instead of dollars? That’s perfectly fine; you can switch back and forth between currencies at any time with zero fees. As we add further currencies, you can expect the same.

Sean Neville & Jeremy Allaire

Competing directly with Apple Pay, Circle’s iOS, Android, and Web apps are now called Circle Pay and they’re available in the app stores. Features of the new apps include free of charge debit card usage, higher limits for cashing in, spending and cashing out, FDIC insurance on USD deposits, and the ability to send friends money before they are signed up.

Using Debit cards with Circle pay is preferable because it is instant and there are no charges. Although instant, credit cards required but networks charge a fee for their usage. Users can also link a bank account, but it may take a few days for banks to complete transfers.

Limits for cashing in, spending, and cashing out start with a $300 USD weekly limit and can graduate to $3,000.

Circle also reports that it is in full compliance with New York’s money transmitter and BitLicense regulations.

We’ve been fairly vocal about our concerns with the BitLicense, especially in its initial incarnation. Many of those issues were resolved, and though still not perfect, the BitLicense and its requirements became clear and irrefutable prerequisites for serving and supporting everyone in New York. We are the first company to be granted a BitLicense, and we also hold a Money Transfer License for US dollar transactions in the state of New York. We want to help people everywhere around the globe, and that includes New Yorkers.

Journalist, policy analyst, and evangelist of new, disruptive technologies including big data analytics, Internet of Things, and cryptocurrencies. Internet industry veteran with regional c-suite experience, and journalist credentials earned at, Internet World magazine, and Mecklermedia Corporation.
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