Seattle-based cryptocurrency exchange platform Bittrex has managed to obtain a banking agreement that will allow crypto-users to trade digital assets directly for fiat currencies, initially in U.S dollars. The deal was made with the approval of New-York based Signature Bank.
At press time, Bittrex supports over 200 currencies and the only exchange platform to list all top 20 cryptocurrencies in the world—Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC) among all others. With a service this big, over 300 million customers from around the world trade back and forth with Bittrex. Surely, the launch of fiat trading for BTC, Tether, and TrueUSD will double the numbers and increase Bittrex’s 24-hour trade volume of $98 million.
Addressing the deal, Bittrex CEO Bill Shihara, told the press that the process the company underwent had been a long path. Signature Bank examined Bittrex from top to bottom to make sure that they strictly implement anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) policies, and have total control over their finances. Additionally, Shihara suggested that the deal could possibly widen the relationship between the traditional finance sector and the crypto-community by saying: “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.”
Bittrex has plans to offer the trading to retail customers in the future, but the Crypto-Fiat exchange service will initially be opened to customers residing in the states of Washington, California, New York, and Montana due to regulatory reasons. Only a portion of the 300 million Bittrex users will have access to the service and not all 200 currencies supported by the platform will be open for fiat trading.
Considering this, it might take a while for correspondent banks to offer Crypto-Fiat and Crypto-Crypto trading simultaneously on their platforms. Giant exchange company Coinbase, for example, is also undergoing strict processes to develop relationships with Cross River Bank, Metropolitan Bank, Silvergate Bank, and Barclays to secure a federal banking charter which would eliminate the intrusion of banking partners in all their activities.