US based cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex now allows its users to buy altcoins using US Dollars. The exchange previously allowed only crypto to crypto purchases in these coins. Founder Bill Shihara remains confident that the company will be able to come out of the regulatory puzzle with flying colors.
The Seattle-based exchange is planning to follow the example of Coinbase. The California-based exchange allows users to buy cryptocurrencies with US dollars. On Bittrex, the users first had to buy bitcoins and then exchange them for the altcoin of their choice. The process was complicated and lengthy. Also, it made the bitcoin prices very tightly knit with altcoin prices.
Bill Shihara, Founder and CEO looked positive on their new step and said the company wants to “expand out to as many markets as possible on Bittrex, As well as expand it so that every customer on Bittrex will be able to have access to U.S. dollar trading.” As more investors will feel comfortable trading directly in dollars, the exchange will help in moving the market and decoupling BTC prices from other coin prices. The exchange currently facilitates trade in 200 cryptocurrencies, a small fraction of more than 1500 digital coins floating in the market.
For now, a “small, select number of launch partners” are working with Bittrex to make USD trading a reality. The CEO also said, “In this phase, we’re stress-testing our system. We’re working with the banks very closely to ensure that they can process the FIAT deposits and withdrawals. Also, the engine itself that we use to trade, is going to be able to properly handle the load.”
Regulatory pressures in the industry could be one of the major concerns that the exchange will have to face soon. Many financial institutions and individuals have become increasingly skeptical of the coins, equating some of them with large scale frauds. A new story about heists, cryptocrimes and ICO frauds makes headlines every day which is driving investors away from the market. Some traders have reportedly moved to foreign markets as well.
Shihara believes that working with US agencies could help the industry in bettering its growth prospects add more value to the crypto markets as well. “We think that solving the regulatory puzzle in the United States really unlocks a lot of capital that really can’t trade on a foreign exchange that doesn’t have proper [anti-money laundering] controls or proper compliance,” he noted.
This move will have some far-reaching consequences as well. One of the largest US exchanges by volume, it has the power to change the entire crypto industry. Bitcoin prices could also take a beating and there could at least some drop in the trading volume of the currency in the immediate future as investors will not have to get BTC to buy other coins of their choice. It is also to be noted that the impact that it has on the crypto market could also change in due course of time. Some experts also believe that Ethereum could take over as the most important, if not valuable currency in the next few years.