Seattle-based crypto exchange Bittrex has managed to secure a banking agreement that will allow some customers to trade digital assets directly for U.S. dollars. The company has struck a deal with the New York-based Signature Bank amongst others.
Bittrex Hope to Attract More Users with Crypto to Fiat Trading Pairs
According to a report in Bloomberg, the exchange venue which supports the buying and selling of over 200 different crypto assets will soon be accepting deposits in fiat currency. Unfortunately, this will not be available for all customers just yet, however.
The CEO of Bittrex, Bill Shihara told the publication about the platform signing the deal with Signature Bank:
“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.”
Despite Shihara’s words indicating that cryptocurrency is emerging into the mainstream, larger institutions still treat digital currency with caution. This is largely due to the fact that they’re unwilling to risk their reputations by getting involved with an industry that is still marred by its past associations with criminality.
This has meant that many exchanges have had to exist only as venues to swap cryptocurrency for cryptocurrency. Without the support of banking institutions, they have been unable to provide the ‘off and on ramp’ to digital currency investment and trading that their customers are pining for.
That said, there are several examples of exchanges that have found support from banks. Industry stalwart Coinbase has managed to secure deals with three banks in the U.S. – Metropolitan Bank, Silvergate Bank, and Cross River Bank.
In addition, the almost household name of the cryptocurrency exchange industry has recently managed to secure support from Barclays PLC in the U.K. Meanwhile, rumours still abound about the relationship between Puerto Rican bank Noble Bank International and Bitfinex – a company long mired with accusations of dubious banking practices relating to their ‘stable coin’ Tether.
During his interview with Bloomberg, Shihara also commented about the process the company had to go through to ensure the deal went ahead:
“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.”
For now, only a fraction of the three million Bittrex users will have access to the fiat service. It will be reserved for corporate customers in Washington, California, New York, and Montana. Not all 200 of the cryptocurrencies supported by the platform will receive fiat trading pairs either – just Bitcoin, Tether, and TrueUSD. The service is scheduled to launch on Thursday.