Bittrex gets bank backing to allow dollar purchases of bitcoin

The U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex, is to offer dollar-cryptocurrency purchases to its corporate clients with help from Signature Bank. Bittrex Inc., a Seattle-based exchange, says it has struck banking deals that will allow a portion of its users to buy and sell cryptocurrency using dollars. The new facility will only be available in certain US States, but is still expected to grow trading volume and attract more users, reports Bloomberg. New York-based Signature Bank is central to the facility, as it will hold the dollar-denominated funds, along with other financial firms.

Bittrex Chief Executive Officer Bill Shihara said the move showed that banks have increasing confidence in both Bittrex, and the cryptocurrency market as a whole:

“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.”

Concerns over the potential for money laundering and other criminal activity using cryptocurrency has been one of the reason that banks – which, at least in the US – are policed by a strict set of rules on such matters, have chosen to observe the crypto scene from afar rather than get involved. Thus, may exchanges are restricted to creating markets that deal solely in digital currencies rather than fiat ones.

“They really do look and pore through the entire business,” Shihara told the news channel. “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.”

Initially, Bittrex will offer fiat trading in Bitcoin (BTC), alongside US Dollar-linked cryptocurrencies Tether (USDT) and TrueUSD (TUSD), to its corporate clients in Washington, California, New York and Montana. Retail users will, eventually, get access to the facility too.