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ShortHop, an “exchange of exchanges” for cryptocurrency trading, has launched in seven additional U.S. states.
Revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, the exchange and brokerage has opened for business in Indiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Arizona and Montana. The Wilmington, Del.-based ShortHop was already live in California, Washington and Illinois.
While the exchange’s parent company, technology provider Velocity Markets, is registered as a money services business (MSB) with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), ShortHop had to apply for money transmitter licenses in each state where it does business. The company also expects to be licensed in Utah and Pennsylvania next week.
As a “spot fill market,” ShortHop allows customers to transact digital asset listings from multiple order books on one screen in addition to its own orders to provide customers with the lowest price, said Velocity Markets CEO Jonathan Kelfer.
“You might find that when you go on Binance, the spot price for bitcoin is the quoted price. When you go on Gemini it’s the quoted price there as well,” Kelfer said, by way of example. “We’ll use that in aggregate to get the best price across the ecosystem.”
In this way, the company’s model resembles those of Voyager and Fidelity Digital Asset Services, both of which act as brokers, helping customers find the best deals in a highly fragmented market. The difference is that ShortHop also has its own exchange.
“ShortHop is a spot market first, but we’re aggregating liquidity across the ecosystem,” Kelfer said, adding that the service is currently plugged into a total of eight exchanges and OTC desks.
ShortHop’s organic orders get treated like any other order on the marketplace, but “the more orders, the better the price,” Kelfer said.
Skipping between assetsKelfer founded the company in the early part of the initial coin offering (ICO) boom, seeing a need for reliable American exchanges.
“It was my perspective that there wasn’t a U.S.-based presence where people could reliably base these assets,” Kelfer said. “You really had to get on some Chinese exchange, because U.S. exchanges weren’t listing most of these tokens.”
Currently, ShortHop just lists a few major cryptocurrencies. Users can acquire and trade bitcoin, ether, litecoin, bitcoin cash, XRP and Stellar lumens (XLM). ShortHop also allows customers to “hop” between these assets without having to go through multiple conversions on different exchanges. Its technology accomplishes this by cross ordering books to create synthetic pairs.
Velocity Markets is also building a digital securities exchange. It owns a broker-dealer under the legal name Distributed Technology Markets that has an alternative trading system form on file at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company will be using the broker-dealer license to enable the digital securities exchange, but the company would not disclose when it plans to launch.
Right now, new users on ShortHop’s platform receive $25 worth of bitcoin for signing up. The platform at the moment is feeless, and Kelfer plans to subsidize retail users by offering a plug-in service to institutions who want to connect to the exchange’s capabilities.
“We’d rather do this than nickel-and-dime retail users who should have access to the same quality of infrastructure that large players do,” Kelfer said. “That’s not to say we won’t layer on fees in the future.”
Jonathan Kelfer image via Velocity Markets
Now, kiosks are going to be required to have a state money transmission license. According to BitAML Senior Advisor Annelise Strader, the state’s regulatory team made the necessary changes after not passing a crypto bill last May. And also, they’ve changed their interpretation of what constitutes a money transmitter in Nevada. HB 7141 (2017) requires money transmitter license holders that are entrusted to take care of altcoins for a person or business to hold altcoins of the same type and amount at all times. HB 5001 (2018) would establish a service fee for altcoins traded in the state. You are here: Home / Crypto Blog / Bitcoin / Nevada Lawmakers Scrap Flawed Cryptocurrency Bill. Nevada Lawmakers Scrap Flawed Cryptocurrency Bill April 17, 2019 / in Bitcoin / by Bitcoinist. Lawmakers in Nevada have failed to move forward with a controversial bill for cryptocurrency regulations based on the flawed regulatory model proposed by the U.S. Uniform Law Commission (ULC). Nevada ... Nevada’s regulatory stance on cryptocurrency kiosks has shifted, now requiring a state money transmission license. Speaking with CoinDesk, BitAML Senior Advisor Annelise Strader said Nevada abruptly and without announcement changed its regulatory stance on cryptocurrency kiosks. Following the last legislation session closing in May without passing a proposed cryptocurrency bill, Strader says ... Nevada Congress Takes no Action on SB195. The deadline for further action on SB195 on the floor of the Nevada Senate passed on Friday (April 12, 2019). With no action taken, the bill is effectively dead in the water and marks a victory for cryptocurrency stakeholders in the state. According to the latest reports, there has been a shift in the regulatory stance of the state of Nevada on the digital currency Kiosk; now a money transmission license is required. Annelise Strader, BitAML’s Senior Advisor stated that an abrupt and unannounced shift in the regulatory stance of Nevada has happened regarding the digital currency Kiosk. Coinbase, Inc. is licensed by the Nevada Department of Business and Industry as a money transmitter. At this time, the Nevada Department of Business and Industry does not license or regulate services related to virtual currency, including but not limited to virtual currency transmission or exchange which may be conducted by Coinbase. Texas was the first state to publish a memorandum declaring that no money transmitter license was needed to sell Bitcoin or other digital currencies. (The state also nearly passed a bill that would have banned the usage of cryptocurrencies between unidentified parties.) In Colorado, legislation passed in 2019 exempts crypto broker-dealers from state licensing requirements under certain ... Nevada. Nevada’s money transmission regulations do not mention virtual currency. The Department of Business and Industry does not publish guidelines for virtual currency companies. New Hampshire. Popular crypto exchange Poloniex pulled out of New Hampshire in 2016 when the state legislature inadvertently subjected crypto companies to the state’s banking laws. A year later, House Bill 436 ... This company would need to receive a money transmitter license in this new context. Another issue that could stem from this new regulation is that crypto and blockchain companies could see their tokens facing super-negotiability protection, which gives the buyers coverage from “unknown encumbrances”.
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