It's been a big week in the cryptocurrency exchange world as global powerhouses continue an aggressive push towards bridging the gap between crypto and fiat.
Below we'll walk you through some of the most important headlines and why they matter. Short term implications and market volatility may differ from longer term growth and adoption of crypto overall, so rest assured we'll be monitoring developments closely. Because whether you're a crypto purist with a staunch rebuke of any kind of regulation, or an enthusiast who simply wants to invest safely, the impact of these developments will be far reaching.
Let's start with the US, where it's been particularly busy -
CoinBase To Become Regulated Securities Firm
Coming off their recent acquisition of Paradex to expand their trade offering, leading US cryptocurrency platform Coinbase announced they are working to become a fully regulated broker dealer by the US SEC. COO and president Asiff Hirji expanded "We believe this is an important moment for the crypto ecosystem, and yet another indication of the maturation of the crypto economy. If approved, these licenses will set Coinbase on a path to offer future services that include crypto securities trading, margin and over-the-counter (OTC) trading, and new market data products."
Fidelity Building Cryptocurrency Exchange
According to alleged internal job postings as reported by Business Insider, asset manager Fidelity Investments is building a cryptocurrency exchange - and has been planning it for over a year. According to BI, they're apparently also working to develop custodian services for various digital currencies for their investors.
Details around launch timing or it's structuring as a Fidelity product or independent exchange are limited, but with $2.4 trillion under management, regulators and investors alike will be staying tuned.
Bittrex Expanding Fiat Pairs
Bittrex is continuing to work directly with US banks to expand fiat deposits and withdrawals. According to CEO Bill Shihara, “Right now, we started with a small select number of launch partners and the idea right now in this phase, we are stress testing our system. We are working with the banks very closely to ensure that they can process fiat deposits and withdrawals, and also the engine itself that we use to trade is going to be able to properly handle the load. The idea then is to expand to as many markets as possible."
Circle Seeks Federal Banking License
Goldman Sachs-backed Circle, which recently acquired Poloniex and completed a $110 million funding round, has brought its overall valuation to $3 Billion. Along with Coinbase, they're pursuing official status as a brokerage with the Securities and Exchange Commission to further service institutional investors.
However unlike Coinbase's rumored (but likely) banking license bid, Circle is publicly pushing full steam ahead on that front as well. “To hold reserves with the Federal Reserve, to natively access the central-banking system without intermediaries, to directly settle with other banks in other markets around the world through those networks -- that can improve the efficiency of what we deliver, it can reduce the costs,” said CEO Jeremy Allaire.
And on the international front -
Binance Opens Bank Account in Malta
Months ago the crypto universe began wondering when Binance, the world's largest exchange by volume, was going to enable fiat-to-crypto trading pairs. We may finally have an indication. According to a recent interview with founder Changpeng Zhao, Binance has finally opened up a bank account in Malta, where it recently moved its headquarters. Sources say banks had been showing reluctance due to the recent overall market and ICO volatility.
Bithumb Cleared By South Korean Authorities
South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Bithumb, has been under investigation for some time by several local financial authorities including the NTS (National Tax Service). The company was finally cleared as the authorities found no evidence of illicit activities, but they were charged a $28 million tax bill. Many see this as a victory for the larger crypto sector, particularly in Asia where regulatory challenges have become more common. Japan for example, just delivered its first official rejection of an exchange application with FSHO.
Exchange developments are happening fast and while we will do our best to keep you informed, we also have to focus on how these changes will impact your experience as a trader. Because as the exchanges evolve, so will Quadency - ensuring we're delivering on our mission to help you trade better.