Crypto St. is a new US digital currency exchange that recently launched into its beta testing phase. The exchange, based in Delaware, is the first of its kind in the US and is focusing its attention on supporting up and coming altcurrencies.
While there are already altcurrency exchanges, such as Bulgaria-based BTC-e, Crypto St. is bullish about its chances. "People like and trust an American-based platform and that's presently what we offer for an altcoin exchange", said Shamoon Siddiqui, the company's founder and CEO, when we contacted him.
In its current state, Crypto St. is supporting trades between bitcoin, litecoin, and feathercoin. There is as yet no fiat currency exchange, so you'll have to provision your binary bullion elsewhere for now. Crypto St. cites "complex money transmission laws that vary per country and states" as the reason for the lack of fiat support, but that it is working towards that goal. Siddiqui told me that Crypto St. is currently working with its advisors to resolve FinCEN compliance.
To celebrate the launch, the company has zero fees to trade and withdraw. "We want to encourage a strong economy between the various altcoins," said Siddiqui, "and that's why we're starting with a no-fee model. But of course, that will change in time."
Crypto St. also states that its next release will bring support for Namecoin, and Primecoin. The former is used for buying .bit domains which are a decentralised form of the DNS system. The latter is a new currency based on (the useful process of) discovering prime numbers as its proof of work algorithm.
Crypto St. is self-funded out of Siddiqui's pocket and is currently a three man operation, with Yaniv Sofer as COO and Andrew Font as CTO.
One smaller difference that people familiar with forex trading may find comfortingly familiar is the order in which trade ratios are quoted. Crypto St. puts the strongest currency first, so that the trade ratio is shown as a greater than zero figure, rather than the long zero point floating-point figures that we see elsewhere.