Business

Jasmine Solana

Bittrex banking agreement paves way for USD trading options

Seattle-based cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex has found a bank partner, allowing it offer U.S. dollar trading options to customers in select states in the country.

On Thursday, Bloomberg reported that the exchange has forged an agreement with New York-based Signature Bank, which enables Bittrex to start accepting deposits made in U.S. dollar as well as listing cryptocurrencies for trading against the fiat currency.

For now, the fiat trading option is offered only to corporate customers in Washington State, California, New York and Montana, although qualified international clients may be able to participate in the markets after they passed the standard registration process. All customers are required to submit proof that they’re operating in qualified U.S. or international regions, and will have to agree to specific fiat terms and conditions.

The initial market for fiat trading include BTC, Tether (USDT) and TrueUSD (TUSD). Bittrex said it plans to rollout each additional phase to expand the fiat trading to all qualified customers over time.

“Expanding fiat markets to the top digital currencies on our exchange should further drive adoption of this revolutionary technology by providing customers even more options for purchasing and trading digital currencies in a secure, robust and reliable environment with high liquidity,” Bittrex CEO Bill Shihara said in a statement.

Founded in 2014, Bittrex serves primarily as a crypto-to-crypto exchange. Now, the U.S.-based platform ranks as the 18th largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, with a customer base of more than 3 million globally.

Snapping up a banking partner is considered an achievement for Bittrex, given that most cryptocurrency exchanges are struggling to find a financial institutional that will service companies in the crypto sector. Early this year, UK’s Barclays allowed Coinbase to open an account with the bank, making it easier for British traders to move their crypto to fiat and vice versa.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Shihara confirmed the long, arduous process Bittrex underwent to sign Signature Bank.

“They really do look and pore through the entire business,” Shihara told the news outlet. “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.”

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