The US-based cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex announced that it was in talks with banks to reach agreements that would let some of its clients trade in USD. Currently, users can trade over 200 cryptocurrencies, but they can’t convert in and out of US dollars.
Bittrex is currently in negotiation with New York-based Signature Bank and with other financial institutions.
At least for the beginning, trading with USD will be available for corporate clients and only in several US states, including New York, Washington, California, and Montana. However, even that may have a positive impact on the exchange’s trading volume. In the future, the company hopes to expand its fiat trading option to retail investors as well.
Bittrex CEO Bill Shihara explained:
“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.”
The Seattle-based crypto exchange with boasts over 3 million users worldwide, said that it would launch fiat operations this Thursday. Clients will be able to convert their dollars to , Tether, and TrueUSD.
In the US, banks are not in a hurry to do business with cryptocurrency exchanges, as they have to stick to anti-money laundering and know-your-customer regulations, which is why many services choose to offer crypto-to-crypto trading only.
Shihara revealed how difficult it is to reach an agreement with banks:
“They really do look and pour 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 will not be the only exchange providing fiat trading solutions on the US territory. Coinbase, the country’s largest exchange, has also built relationships with several banks to secure bank accounts.
In April 2018, Bittrex launched an upgraded webpage and started to accept new clients again.
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