Hong Kong-based exchange Gatecoin has launched after a lengthy setup process, promising segregated bank accounts for customers in 40 countries across five continents.
The company says it is the first to offer this kind of security, which is common in the non-crypto forex exchange world. This means customer funds are kept in separate bank accounts to the company's own funds, and thus can have funds returned in the case of a force majeure financial event that depletes company reserves.
Gatecoin is a licensed Money Services Operator in Hong Kong. It offers bitcoin trading in USD, EUR and HKD through its low-latency matching engine, and plans to implement Ripple in the next few weeks.
Services and offers
The exchange's blog states that the 40-country banking deal will streamline the customer deposit process:
"This transparent partnership allows Gatecoin to handle important transfer volumes for professional traders. We offer an optimized wire transfer solution and OKPay to make your fiat currency transfers quicker, cheaper and easier."
Gatecoin is offering 15 days of free trading to new users, along with the possibility of a free Ledger wallet Nano USB device, of which the firm is the official online reseller in Asia.
Standard security measures for accounts include multi-signature cold storage and two-factor-authentication. Regular third-party audits are promised.
Gatecoin's launch has been anticipated for some time now, with the company's Twitter account posting messages since August 2013.
CEO and co-founder Aurélien Menant officially opened the exchange for business at the Inside Bitcoins conference today in Singapore, where he has also appeared on a number of panels.
A former investment banker in Paris and London, Menant sits on the boards of several other startups in Hong Kong and is one of the co-founders of the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong.
Gatecoin, which was originally self-funded by its founders, has also received additional backing from angel investors and was incubated by Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks (HKSTP), a government body.
The exchange is currently developing a project called CoinCharities, currently in alpha, which will allow charities to receive donations from all around the globe using bitcoin.
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