The US-based digital currency exchange Bittrex has announced signing a banking agreement with New York‘s Signature Bank that will allow selected customers to trade cryptocurrencies for USD. Reportedly, the service will only be available for approved corporate clients in the states of Washington, California, Montana and New York due to regulation-related reasons. Eventually, Bittrex aims to offer this platform for all qualified customers as the platform is further developed.
We offer one of the biggest selections of innovative tokens available around the globe. Today we announce the introduction of US Dollar (Fiat) trading for approved corporate customers, followed by all qualified customers as we roll out additional phases. https://t.co/LBGlo9QDdB
— Bittrex (@BittrexExchange) May 31, 2018
Bittrex is among the top 20 crypto exchanges worldwide by trading volume, handling approximately $100 million worth of transactions in the past 24 hours. More than 250 trading pairs are available to its client base, which exceeds 3 million.
The new service will offer fiat trading for bitcoin, tether, and TrueUSD. This is a significant development for the crypto community as until very recently banks were reluctant to cooperate with crypto exchanges. This might be due to regulatory uncertainty or shady businesses that virtual currencies are associated with as well as some degree of threat that crypto poses to established financial institutions.
This means that many exchanges could only exist as crypto-to-crypto swapping venues, with their users having to find alternative ways to convert virtual currencies to fiat money. Luckily, the situation has started to improve as the industry giant Coinbase secured partnerships with three American banks – Metropolitan, Silvergate and Cross River before signing an agreement with banking stalwart Barclay‘s.
A similar sentiment has been echoed by Bittrex CEO Bill Shihara who claimed that “It’s been a long path. It’s not just about banks being able to trust Bittrex. It’s about banks being able to trust crypto in general. And I think it’s really showing that crypto is turning the corner in terms of mainstream acceptance.“
He also went on to add about the arduous compliance procedures that Bittrex had to go through in order to ensure the deal is signed. He reveals that“They really do look and pore through the entire business. They want to make sure that we’ve got robust AML/KYC processes, that we’ve got the right controls on our finances. They do background checks and everything. They really look at our business soup to nuts.“
Bittrex has already had a fair share of bank-related trouble as Wells Fargo decided to terminate their partnership agreement last year. The exchange was forced to resort to using third-party accounts to keep their crypto-to-fiat trading pairs online. Luckily, a permanent solution was found through teaming up with Puerto Rican Noble Bank.
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I have been following the crypto markets since mid 2017, just in time to witness the incredible surge of the digital asset industry. Fascinated by the potential of blockchain technology I’ve started to dig deeper and that’s how I ended up meeting the Toshi Times team. I hold a Political Science degree, therefore the crypto regulation development is particularly interesting for me. I’m also heavily involved with music, running my own label, a YouTube channel and working with distribution. People call blockchain the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ and I believe it will change our daily lives in the coming years and we will have the front row seats to witness it.