10 months ago, I wrote my last blog post about leaving Google to join itBit – a bitcoin exchange based in NYC. Today, we’re proud to announce our US launch. This is the culmination of a lot of hard work by the itBit team over the last year. Check out blog post below.
Today, we opened our doors to all customers in the United States to trade on itBit. This has been our prime objective ever since we established our headquarters in New York last July. We’ve spent a lot of time and resources to get to this place – so I’d like to to share why we think it’s important, and why it matters.
Regulatory compliance is paramount when establishing any type of financial services company. This is not so much a belief or strategy as it is a matter of fact; there are extensive, well-established guidelines from multiple agencies at all levels of government on how to work within the system, and harsh consequences for those who do not comply. While some see bitcoin as alluring for its potential to operate outside this system, we see it differently. We believe bitcoin and blockchain technology have immense potential within the system — to help make it more efficient, to offer new solutions and to bring us all into the future. With this bigger vision in mind, we realized that being regulatory compliant is not enough. We don’t just want to stay within the lines — we want to set an entirely new standard.
So today we’re pleased to introduce the itBit Trust Company, the custodian of our clients’ assets, ensuring they are protected under the highest possible standard of care. The New York State Department of Finance oversaw the formation of the Trust and will oversee its ongoing operations — meaning that the Trust has to meet high regulatory standards, pass regulatory exams and maintain the required regulatory capital to back up client assets. The requirements for establishing a trust are so extensive that we have created the first new trust in the state of New York since before the financial crisis of 2008. The process to get here has been long, but worth it for building the confidence and trust of our clients. Our clients can rest assured knowing that their deposits are secure no matter the exigency. Further, our US customers will have the additional assurance that their dollars will be kept in FDIC-insured, on-shore bank accounts.
We’ve set a high bar for trust and confidence. We don’t believe this is something that everyone in the bitcoin ecosystem has to meet — but we think it’s important that we do. We believe itBit can become a reliable gateway between the world of bitcoin and the traditional financial system — and in establishing ourselves as such, we create a trusted starting point for financial institutions, bitcoin companies and individuals to feel confident entering the bitcoin market and building upon it. We think this is particularly meaningful for regulated financial institutions – for whom this is the first opportunity to trade bitcoin via a similarly regulated entity.
There is still so much potential for how bitcoin and blockchain technology can change the world, and we hope that itBit will be a meaningful part of that future. We hope you will join us on that journey as well.