After another harried week of troubles for some Bitcoin exchanges, such as Mt.Gox and Silk Road 2.0, itBit, the Singapore-based exchange is emerging a winner. itBit recently built a trading-specific platform for bitcoin; now it is offering a cut-price promotion in an attempt to draw in new customers.
The company has not had any of the problems that other exchanges have been experiencing lately. In fact, itBit CEO Rich Teo has said that recent events have led to increased interest in his company’s platform. ‘Based on the way our wallet is built, we weren’t affected. We haven’t seen any issues,’ he said.
At the end of 2013, itBit had $5.5 million in venture capital. ‘At itBit, bitcoin and fiat deposits and withdrawals are business as usual,’ said Antony Lewis, business development manager for the exchange.
‘For withdrawals, we enforce a 72-hour withholding period,’ Lewis said. ‘This can be reduced to 24-hours at a user’s request, if they enable multi-factor login authentication.’
Because Bitcoins are not kept in ‘hot wallets’, which is a wallet that is online and open to a hacker the itBit customer is not at risk. At itBit the Bitcoin is kept offline or ‘cold storage.’
The company believes its secure bitcoin storage features will attract customers shaken by the recent events at other exchanges, so itBit is doing a promotion of waiving some commissions for new customers
‘We are giving out trading credits so people can essentially trade for free,’ Teo said. ‘If you deposit over $10,000 worth of BTC or currency, then we’ll provide you with a $50 trading credit.’ For customers who deposit between $5,000 and 10,000 there will be a $25 trading credit, while those who fund their account with $2,000-$5,000 will get a $10 credit.
itBit is currently attempting to get money transmitter business (MSB) licensing in the 48 US states that require it. Because of this, it is only accepting US banking customers who reside in New Mexico or South Carolina; because these are jurisdictions where state MSB licensure is not required.
There are alternatives for customers in the US to wire itBit money from an offshore account and there are no withdrawal or any transactional fees, points out Teo.
Teo says that itBit has a diverse and global clientele, and it has a large customer base in the Asia region. itBit has proved very popular with traders in Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Australia.
While most customers are trading in US dollars, the euro and the Singapore dollar are also available trading pairs.
From its 15 person Shanghai office, it also has offices in Singapore and New York, where Teo once worked in finance. He believes New York will play a large role this decade in the advancing the crypto currency.
Teo hopes to enter mainland China within a few months and do yuan to bitcoin.
Bitcoin closed Sunday Feb 16 at $611.75 on Coindesk.
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