Cryptocurrency firm Robinhood wins New York trading license

(Reuters) - New York on Thursday gave approval to commission-free startup Robinhood to trade in seven cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash and litecoin, on its online platform.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company had announced its plans to launch commission-free cryptocurrency trading services almost a year ago, in response to increasing customer demand.

Robinhood Crypto is already available in more than 30 states, and it will allow customers to buy, sell and store cryptocurrencies in New York over the coming months, the company said.

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) also approved a money transmission license for Robinhood. []

Robinhood is an online brokerage platform that allows retail investors to trade U.S. stocks and exchange traded funds, without paying any commissions. It competes with established brokerage houses such as TD Ameritrade and E*Trade Financial Corp.

The $5.6 billion company, which has also been pushing into providing financial technology services, in December launched U.S. checking and savings accounts, which come with a debit card and do not require a minimum balance. [nL1N1YH181]

The DFS said it has approved 16 licenses so far for companies in the virtual currency marketplace.

Reporting By Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel