Seattle-based crypto exchange Bittrex has signed an agreement with a New York bank that will enable corporate investors to trade selected cryptocurrencies for US dollars on their platform.
Bittrex announced that they had signed an agreement with New York-based Signature bank in a May 31 press release that will enable Bittrex corporate customers to trade USD for Bitcoin (BTC), Tether (USDT) and TrueUSD (TUSD).
According to the press release, Bittrex is “implementing a phased roll out to help establish quality control for the new markets and ensure customers have the highest level of service possible.” Fiat trading will be only be offered to US corporate customers located in Washington State, California, New York and Montana.
However, Bittrex will “continue to roll out each additional phase to expand the fiat trading to all qualified customers over time,” including retail customers.
Bittrex Chief Executive Officer Bill Shihara called the development “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,” he added.
Signature Bank will hold the dollar-denominated funds on behalf of Bittrex’s customers. Banks have been reluctant to work with crypto companies due to stringent regulations, forcing many exchanges to offer only crypto-to-crypto trading.
The situation is slowly changing as crypto becomes more acceptable to traditional financial institutions. For example, Coinbase, one of the biggest US crypto exchanges, has relationships with Cross River Bank, Metropolitan Bank and Silvergate Bank in the US, and has obtained a UK bank account with Barclays PLC.
Bittrex services around 3 million customers worldwide and has a 24 hour trading volume of about $86 million as of June 1.