US-based cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex will allow its customers to use US dollars to purchase altcoins on its exchange, according to reporting from CNBC. On Friday’s Fast Money, Bittrex CEO Bill Shihara suggested that the move is part of Bittrex’s broader goal of expanding its market reach in a way that allows all its customers to “have access to U.S. dollar trading.”
Currently, most traders who want to purchase altcoins must first buy Bitcoin and then trade that digital currency for their chosen altcoin. As a result, the value of those coins has often risen and fallen in relation to Bitcoin price fluctuations. Shihara suggested that the correlation between Bitcoin and the altcoin market could diminish if investors are able to purchase altcoins directly.
Bittrex, which offers its users trading access to roughly 200 digital currencies, is reportedly testing the option with what Shihara described as a “small, select number of launch partners” and monitoring the effectiveness of the exchange’s trading engine:
"In this phase, we're stress-testing our system. We're working with the banks very closely to ensure that they can process the FIAT deposits and withdrawals. Also, the engine itself that we use to trade, is going to be able to properly handle the load."