New York finance regulator tightens crypto listing guidance

Guidelines for firms listing and delisting cryptocurrencies in New York have tightened up to better protect investors, according to the state’s financial regulator.

The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) unveiled new restrictions on Nov. 15 which mandate crypto companies submit their coin listing and delisting policies for NYDFS approval.

Company policies will be measured against more stringent risk assessment standards set forth by the NYDFS to protect investors. Technological, operational, cybersecurity, market, liquidity and illicit activity risks of the tokens are among the factors to be considered by the NYDFS.

The incoming changes apply to all digital currency business entities licensed under the New York Codes, Rules and Regulation or limited purpose trust companies under the state’s Banking Law. The NYDFS initially called for public feedback on the proposal in September.

Cryptocurrency firms with a previously approved coin listing policy are not permitted to self-certify any tokens until they submit to and receive approval from the NYDFS.

Among the firms that must comply with the new rules are stablecoin issuer Circle, crypto exchange Gemini, fund manager Fidelity, trading house Robinhood and payments giant PayPal.

All affected firms must meet with the NYDFS by Dec. 8, 2023, to preview their draft coin listing and delisting policies and submit them by Jan. 31, 2024.

Related: New York MoMA now has tokenized artworks in its permanent collection

Superintendent of Financial Services Adrienne A. Harris said the financial regulator would implement an “innovative and data-driven approach” to oversee coin listings, delistings and the cryptocurrency market more broadly.

Harris stressed the new rule isn’t part of a state-wide crackdown on the cryptocurrency industry:

“[We want] to ensure that New Yorkers have a well-regulated way to access the virtual currency marketplace and that New York remains at the center of technological innovation and forward-looking regulation.”

In February, NYDFS said it broadened its ability to identify cryptocurrency-related illicit activities, such as insider trading and market manipulation.

About 690 blockchain-based companies are based in New York, while 19% of New Yorkers own cryptocurrency, according to an August report by Coinbase.