|Key People||Bill Shihara, Co-Founder and CEO; Richie Lai, Co-Founder and Chief Information Officer; Rami Kawach, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer|
Bittrex is one of the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchanges. It was founded in 2014 by three senior security managers from Amazon: Bill Shihara, co-founder and CEO; Richie Lai, co-founder and chief information officer; and Rami Kawach, co-founder and chief technology officer. The three are also alumni of Microsoft.
According to January 14, 2019, data from CoinMarketCap, Bittrex was the 50th largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume in the world at that time. It provides 302 mostly crypto-to-crypto trading pairs. In August 2018, Bittrex had been reported as the 32nd largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, offering 284 trading pairs.
On May 31, 2018, Bittrex announced that it had established a banking relationship with New York's Signature Bank, which facilitates U.S. dollar-to-crypto transactions for some customers.
Bittrex launched an OTC trading desk to handle cryptocurrency orders with values of $250,000 or more on January 14, 2019.
In 2015 Bittrex applied for a New York State Bitlicense. The application was rejected in 2019. According to the New York Department of Financial Services, the application was rejected due to Bittrex's "seriously deficient" customer identification program. The NYDFS found that a number of people trading on Bittrex did not provide tax information, names, or birthdates. Some were even found using "clearly false names" like "Donald Duck" and "Elvis Presley." In a letter addressed to Bill Shihara, the NYDFS said that the Department had worked with Bittrex "steadily" to "address continued deficiencies and to assist Bittrex in develo9ping appropriate controls and compliance programs commensurate with the evolving nature of the sector." The letter said that the Department had issued a number of "deficiency letters," and that due to "a number of unresolved items," in February 2019, the NYDFS launched a four-week review of the exchange in their Seattle and Washington, D.C. offices. The letter, dated April 10, 2019, ended by saying that Shihara had 14 days to provide a written confirmation that he had received the letter, including a plan for how Bittrex planned on ceasing to do business with New York residents. Bittrex responded that some traders, including those using fake names, never actually conducted any trades. In a statement released by Bittrex following the receipt of the letter, Bittrex said that it disagreed with the NYDFS' claims, and that "corporate responsibility is in our DNA and our commitment to regulatory and compliance guidelines is second to none."
Bittrex offers its users the ability to trade bitcoin, Ether, Tether, TrueUSD, and U.S. dollars for various cryptocurrencies, including ADA, TRX, and ZEC. It also allows for the liquidation of bitcoin, Ether, and Tether to USD as well.
Bittrex announced on August 8, 2018 that it would be adding XRP/USD and ETC/USD trading pairs to the exchange, both launching August 20, 2018. The exchange also said they plan on adding more USD/crypto markets to the exchange over time, using a "phased" approach, or gradually doing so after spending time developing these services and markets, ensuring that they will be ready for customers upon launch.
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- Bittrex Gets Bank Agreement to Help You Buy Bitcoin With Dollars. Bloomberg.
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- The Biggest Digital Exchanges Are Teaming Up To Police the Crypto Space. Bloomberg.
- The Real Cost of Applying for a New York BitLicense. Coindesk.
- Letter of Rejection. New York State Department of Financial Services.
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- Bittrex customers were using fake names like Donald Duck and Elvis to trade, and now the exchange has to leave New York. The Block.
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