Seattle-based cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex announced it has entered an agreement with New York’s Signature Bank that would allow customers to trade cryptocurrencies in USD, according to a report by Bloomberg.
The agreement enables Bittrex, which was limited to conducting trades exclusively among cryptocurrencies, to now offer Bitcoin, Tether and TrueUSD trading pairs to customers in Washington, California, New York and Montana.
Bittrex, which ranks as the world’s 18th largest cryptocurrency exchange and moves a daily volume of approximately $100 mln has now become one of the few platforms to support fiat-to-crypto trading.
Bill Shihara, CEO of Bittrex, told Bloomberg in an interview:
“It’s been 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.”
Shihara explained that the struggle to find a banking partner until after a decision by Wells Fargo to close the exchange’s accounts was a result of a negative perception of traditional banks that view cryptocurrencies as the means for illicit activities. He added:
“They really do look and pore through the entire business. They want to make sure that we’ve got robust AML/KYC processes, that we’ve got the right controls on our finances. They do background checks and everything. They really look at our business soup to nuts.”
Bittrex has listed USDT, a dollar-based “stablecoin” developed by Tether. However, this token cannot currently be redeemed for physical greenbacks.