The Seattle-based cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex has revealed that the firm has struck an agreement with a United States bank to allow some of its customers to trade cryptocurrencies in USD, along with making USD deposits to the exchange’s wallets.
In a move that was first teased by Bittrex CEO Bill Shihara on the podcast UnikrnRadio, Bittrex will allow corporate clients in select states buy cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin using the United States fiat dollar. Bittrex offers over 200 different cryptocurrencies in total, though only a few will have USD trading pairs.
The first trading pairs of BTC, TUSD, and USDT have been detected by Twitter user BitMartian’s “Apollo” bot that’s used to send a popular Discord group notifications on exchanges listing new coins or trading pairs.
The crypto firm is said to be working with New York-based Signature Bank to custody any funds in USD.
CEO Bill Shihara told Bloomberg in an interview, it’s been a long path,” adding:
“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.”
Shihara notes that part of striking the deal required potential bank partners to “look and pore through the entire business… soup to nuts”, ensuring “robust” anti-money laundering and know your customer standards are in place, among other security measures.
USD trading is available as of today to only a portion of Bittrex’s 3 million customers, specifically corporate customers in the states of Washington, California, New York, and Montana. The exchange plans to expand to include additional states and eventually all retail investors in the future.
Last month, Bittrex reopened new user registrations after shutting down signups in December 2017 due to the rapid influx of new investors during bitcoin’s media frenzy.