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.

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Hospital Launches Cryptocurrency Addiction Rehab Clinic
A Scottish hospital has launched a crypto rehab unit and by all accounts, the calls are flooding in. “Cryptocurrency users can get hooked by the volatile fluctuation of prices online which creates a ‘high’ when they buy or trade a winning currency,” said Castle Craig Hospital in a press release. “This can be exciting but also addictive and, like gambling addiction, can be financially disastrous.” MarketWatch features a 10 question survey for you to determine if you’re a pathological cryptocurrency addict.

Venezuela Bans Crypto Mining Rigs From Entering the Country
Despite the Venezuelan government embracing cryptocurrency with open arms, reports BlockExplorer’s Tony Spilotro, the country has taken a stand against cryptocurrency mining, going as far as to ban related computer equipment from entering the country.

Trading App Startup Taylor Says All Funds Have Been Stolen In Cyberattack
Taylor, a smart cryptocurrency trading assistant, was robbed of all of their funds, ZDNet reports.
The attack is said to have taken place on Tuesday of last week. In a Medium blog post, the Taylor team said “all of our funds have been stolen. Not only the balance in ETH (2,578.98 ETH) but also the TAY tokens from the Team and Bounty pools.”

Blockchain NW, Seattle’s First Crypto Conference, Begins Next Week
Seattle’s first blockchain conference begins Tuesday, June 5. The event will feature 50+ speakers who specialize in blockchain business and technology. Special to this event is a Blockchain career fair set up to match Pacific Northwest employers and employees. And if there was any doubt, tickets can be purchased with cryptocurrency.

Image courtesy of Carty Sewill, http://cartyisme.com/

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US Department of Justice, CFTC Investigating Bitcoin Market Manipulation
The United States Department of Justice has launched a probe into claims of market manipulation across bitcoin markets. BlockExplorer’s Tony Spilotro tells us that the investigation is in collaboration with the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission, which oversees derivatives of bitcoin and other coins.

Revolut Users Make 100,000 Bitcoin, Litecoin And Ethereum Exchanges Every Day
Forbes reports, “London-based fintech startup Revolut — which is today adding Bitcoin Cash and Ripple XRP to its cryptocurrency trading app — has revealed its users make around 100,000 Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum exchanges everyday.”

Coinbase To Add Crypto Staking Feature in the Future
San Francisco-based Coinbase, one of the United States largest cryptocurrency exchanges, is following up their most profitable fiscal year with aggressive expansion, making a number of big-name acquisitions such as Earn and Cipher Browser, and rolling out an extensive suite of new products aimed at satisfying the needs of institutional investors.

American Express Announces a Blockchain Application To Its Membership Rewards Program
American Express is integrating blockchain technology developed by Hyperledger, an open source blockchain project, that will let merchants create customized offers for cardholders.

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San Francisco-based Coinbase, one of the United States largest cryptocurrency exchanges, is following up their most profitable fiscal year with aggressive expansion, making a number of big name acquisitions such as Earn and Cipher Browser, and rolling out an extensive suite of new products aimed at satisfying the needs of institutional investors.

As part of their expansion strategy, Coinbase yesterday announced the rebranding of their flagship GDAX trading platform to Coinbase Pro, along with the acquisition of the 0x protocol-based decentralized exchange Paradex. Through Paradex, Coinbase will first offer peer-to-peer trading of ERC20 tokens outside of the US, with plans to bring the service to the US after making some compliance-related changes.

The news sent waves throughout the cryptocurrency community, but one important part of Coinbase’s announcement was mostly overlooked: Coinbase plans to offer crypto staking in the future. According to Coinbase Pro GM David Farmer via an official Coinbase blog post, the firm’s vision “is to give customers the ability to participate in services like staking and protocol voting that are distinct to crypto,” adding:

“As the decentralized ecosystem advances, we expect there will be many more opportunities for customers to interact with digital assets in new and unique ways.”

Cryptocurrency staking is a process in which investors can generate and earn passive income simply by holding coins in their wallet, and leaving it open. Coinbase adding staking would make their platform even more attractive for long-term ‘HODLers,’ as long term investors can keep their coins safely in a secure, insured wallet, all while generating interest on their holdings.

Coinbase Pro is available as of this writing, while GDAX will cease to exist as of June 29th in what Coinbase calls a seamless rollover. No timeframe was given on when staking may be expected, but it’s clear that providing investors with features that are unique to crypto are among Coinbase’s top priorities.

The United States Department of Justice has launched a probe into claims of market manipulation across bitcoin and other cryptocurrency markets. The investigation is in collaboration with the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission, which oversees derivatives of bitcoin and other coins.

According to a report from Bloomberg, the investigation is only in its early stages, and is focused on both bitcoin and ethereum, as well as various altcoins.

The investigation is aimed at manipulation techniques including ‘spoofing’ and ‘wash-trading’. Spoofing is a practice where traders place fake large volume orders on exchanges in an attempt to lure inexperienced investors into buying or selling, only to remove the order before it ever completes. Wash-trading involves a trader, or even a group of traders, trading back and forth with themselves to create an illusion of more market activity than what actually exists.

These behaviors allow ‘market makers’ to push the price of an asset in their desired direction, often resulting in substantial profit. Such market manipulation is illegal in traditional markets, and the activities put a spotlight on why regulation is so necessary for the budding cryptocurrency market that’s full of inexperienced traders.

Cryptocurrency, given its semi-anonymous design, its unregulated global market, and the overall lack of anti-money-laundering and know-your-customer enforcement at exchanges around the globe, makes it a market rife with manipulation and other fraudulent activity.

Financial regulators from key countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, Europe, and the US have been actively increasing efforts to establish guidelines for exchanges, but due to the complexity of the new asset class, there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, officials at top exchanges such as Gemini’s Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, believe that exchanges should band together to self-regulate.

Bitcoin’s price dropped to a May low of $7300 as a result of the news.