US-based cryptocurrency exchange confirmed on January 31 that it will open USD trading to the majority of its customers. Bill Shihara, CEO os Bittrex confirmed this news during a Unikrn Radio podcast with Unikrn CEO Rahul Sood. In the announcement, Bill also added that new registration sign-ups will also soon begin on Bittrex.
History of Bittrex
Shihara and two business partners founded Bittrex in 2013, also all of the partners previously worked for security at Microsoft. Shihara expressed that Bittrex’s initial success was due to the combination of good developers and presence of people with good security team in the exchange. Also their willingness to put their resumes with photos of themselves online when most exchanges preferred to stay anonymous. This transparency in business helped them get success in a very short period of time.
Bittrex made news in October 2017 for its sudden decision to disable thousands of accounts for compliance reviews. And they took this decision without any prior warning to its users, which only made the matter worse. Perhaps due to this service issue, the Exchange had announced in December 2017, that it has stopped registration of new users. They cited that the backlog of user support tickets and their current inability to accurately verify each new user with such high demand was the primary reason behind this decision. In their recent podcast, they expressed that they take their KYC and AML legal obligations very seriously. And doing this requires a large number of staff to do verifications. And to overcome the issue of staff shortage, Shihara said that intend to add 20 support contractors this spring. This will bring up their total to 80 members.
Modifications in Exchange
Shihara also said that new user sign-ups for the exchange would open soon. But there will be additional requirements for new users, like minimum trade deposits. According to Shihara, this ensures that the new users are “people that understand what they are doing.” He added, Bittrex is not designed for retail customers but is aimed at a target audience of more sophisticated or institutional traders. He expressed in the podcast that:
“I don’t think that Bittrex will ever be a retail shop. I’m not looking to be the Fidelity for crypto. If we want Bitcoin to be ubiquitous and traded around the world, we need governments and institutions adopting it.”
As for Bittrex’s future plans, Shihara mentioned the partnership with South Korean-based exchange Upbit. This will give Bittrex access to a retail shop. And it will also give Upbit access to Bittrex’s liquidity. Shihara also said that many more such partnerships are “in the pipeline” in the upcoming months. Shihara has set up a meeting with the Security and Exchange Commission to talk about the possibility of trading in securities in the future. He thinks that regulation of exchanges by governments is inevitable. Shihara first became involved in crypto in 2011, when he began mining for Bitcoin (BTC) with spare computer parts in a garage. However, he grew discouraged when the price fell from $60 to $6 and even threw away his laptop with his BTC on it.