On December 29, 2020, New York State’s Department of Financial Services (DFS) granted a charter under New York Banking Law to GMO-Z.com Trust Company Inc., to operate as a limited liability trust company. With DFS approval, GMO is authorized to issue, administer, and redeem Japanese Yen and U.S. Dollar-pegged stablecoins in New York. The Japanese Yen stablecoin will be the first of its kind available to the public.  

New York, a leading global financial center, has had an interesting history with cryptocurrency.  We have previously reported about New York State’s regulatory practice, starting in 2015, of issuing BitLicenses to firms engaged in cryptocurrency.  There was significant criticism and not many takers.  As the recent DFS press release regarding GMO states, as a result of ongoing dialogue with market participants and other stakeholders, DFS revised the Department’s regulatory approach. This includes streamlining the process for companies to adopt new coins through a self-certification framework and a coins Greenlist, making use of the Department’s conditional licensing authority, and providing new clarity about DFS processes and expectations to applicants and licensed entities. 

Including the charter granted to GMO, to date, DFS has approved 27 charters and licenses for companies engaged in virtual currency business activity. 

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David Zaslowsky has a degree in computer science and, before going to Yale Law School, was a computer programmer. He is currently the Chairman of the Litigation Department of the firm’s New York office. His practice focuses on international litigation and arbitration. He has been involved in cases in trial and appellate courts across the United States and before arbitral institutions around the world. Many of David’s cases, including some patent cases, have related to technology. Since 2008, David has been included in Chambers for his expertise in international arbitration.