Cryptocurrency exchange Atlas ATS has introduced a new feature that allows users to lock in quoted bitcoin prices for up to 60 seconds before executing a trade.
Called its 'Price Lock Guarantee', the latest feature from Atlas ATS is aimed at enticing payment processors, ATM operators and merchants who accept bitcoin to use the platform as a way to hedge against short-term volatility in the market.
Atlas ATS CEO Shawn Sloves framed the service as one that helps these market segments better utilize bitcoin as a payment network, while guarding against short-term losses that could occur due to bitcoin's sometimes rapid fluctuations in value against government-backed alternatives.
"Merchants and payment processors aren’t going to accept a currency if they have to accept a lot of short-term risk along with it. They want to know that the currency’s value is stable, at least for the amount of time it takes them to convert back to the currency of their choice."
The new exchange feature provides yet another example of how the bitcoin ecosystem is seeking to reduce bitcoin's price volatility for certain user groups, while preserving it for traders who want to leverage fluctuations for gains.
Atlas ATS is seeking to expand its operations around the globe and currently has local exchange outposts in North America, Europe and Asia.
Enabling weekly settlement
To further encourage bitcoin merchants and payment processors to use this feature, Atlas ATS allows these groups to enter into direct agreements with dedicated market makers who maintain liquidity on its exchange.
As opposed to a traditional bitcoin exchange, where buy and sell orders are subject to conditions in the market, Atlas ATS says the presence of these market actors will help guarantee price-lock quotes at all times.
Atlas ATS suggested that this would help its target groups to develop continued relationships that help them better convert their bitcoin while preserving gains.
"This allows the parties to settle directly with one another on a weekly basis, alleviating the need to tie up capital with the exchange," the company said.
The feature notably comes at a time when market leaders in the bitcoin industry are searching for ways to reduce volatility for customers.
Notably, Coinapult introduced a price-locking service this July called LOCKS that, while different, aims to cater to those who want protection from bitcoin's price swings.
LOCKS enables users outside the US to peg the value of bitcoin to gold, silver and a host of other assets, so the underlying value can be preserved for those who need to ensure the requisite funds for more immediate payments.
Market observers such as Wedbush's Gil Luria, have predicted that more similar solutions could be forthcoming. Luria cited Coinbase and Circle as two companies that have worked to make bitcoin more palatable to mainstream businesses, without compromising speculators' demand for volatility.
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