New York-based cryptocurrency trading platform itBit announced it will add Stellar, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin.
Regulatory approval by New York’s Department of Financial Services Thursday of Stellar, in particular, clears the cryptocurrency from being classified as a security. The ItBit listing is a decisive move by regulators who are trying to determine which cryptos are currencies and which are securities. This is the first time that New York regulators have approved Stellar on any virtual asset exchange.
Jay Clayton, head of the SEC, has explained why a cryptocurrency or ICO may fall under his agency’s jurisdiction. The distinction between securities and those cryptocurrencies that are purely currencies is blurry. Unlike investments in Bitcoin, which are not being used to raise capital to develop or fund a company, several cryptocurrencies have a fund-raising component. As such, they may be defined as securities.
ItBit, founded in 2012, has been offering Bitcoin OTC trading, custody and escrow services for high-end institutional investors. Its clients include private equity firms, hedge funds, and wealthy individuals. The addition of Stellar, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin is part of the company’s strategy to include the top 10 to 20 assets by market cap. It also marks a deepening interest from big money on Wall Street.
As reported by Fortune, “The interest and the adoption from institutions and large firms that have a lot of credibility is very real,” says Chad Cascarilla, co-founder and CEO of itBit’s parent company Paxos. “That might not be reflected in the price today, but from what I see, will certainly be changing the landscape over the next six to 12 months.”
Stellar is currently the eighth largest cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of $4.3 billion. Bitcoin ranks first with a market cap of $111.6 billion, Ethereum second ($50.77 billion), Bitcoin Cash fourth ($16.6 billion) and Litecoin sixth ($5.6 billion). ItBit may possibly add Ripple’s XRP, the fourth largest cryptocurrency and a Stellar competitor, in the future.