Singapore’s latest exchange, CRXzone, has become the first platform to offer both litecoin and bitcoin trading in the country.
Like others in the Asian region, the exchange aims to attract an international customer base by offering additional bitcoin services beyond trading.
CEO Pawan Kumar spoke to CoinDesk about the exchange’s unique funding and payment options, the advantages of Singapore as a base for bitcoin businesses and the future viability of alternate digital currencies in general, particularly litecoin.
Funding options and payment networks
One of CRXzone’s key strategies to attract a wide customer base is its range of account funding and withdrawal options. As well as the usual bank transfers, the exchange offers international payment processor options like OKPAY, Egopay, and PerfectMoney.
Kumar tends to refer to other payment networks as ‘digital currencies’ too, blurring the line somewhat between cryptocurrencies and widely-used international payment networks.
This is probably due to his 25-year experience in the IT industry, experience with online businesses and involvement in digital payment networks “since the time of E-gold”.
While all offer speed and cost advantages over traditional currencies, Kumar said that bitcoin’s decentralized nature made it an attractive option.
“I personally feel […] bitcoin will slowly takeover all other digital currencies and remain a useful tool for digital payments which are growing day by day.”
One of CRXzone’s selling points is its litecoin trading option, despite the popular altcoin’s image taking a battering following its recent price slump to $5 and lower.
“We still believe that litecoin will survive the current downward trend. It is well known and widely used crypto after the bitcoin [sic]. Leverage trading seems to be a reason for the current price slump, as per my personal judgement.”
CRXzone’s selection of different payment options means there are various fees involved when moving funds in and out of the exchange. OKPAY‘s rate is 1%, while others may charge up to 3%. Meanwhile, international bank transfers are likely to be the least economical option for users.
The exchange itself, however, does not charge any of its own fees in addition to these, regardless of the country or currency. “Not even a miners’ fee,” Kumar pointed out.
CRXzone itself offers a clear layout with order books and live charts. There are multiple trading-oriented reports with trend indicators for each pair, plus volumes, lowest/highest market prices and trade history. Access to the trading API is also available.
Security and auditing
CRXzone keeps only 2-3% of customer funds in ‘hot wallets’ and the rest exist in offline cold storage. Deposits are automated but withdrawals are processed by human operators as an additional check.
There are also plans for half-yearly or even quarterly audits of bitcoin reserves similar to those recently performed at mainland Chinese exchanges, alongside Kraken and Bitfinex a few months earlier.
CRXzone is also working on a “full solution” merchant gateway for businesses wishing to accept bitcoin, which should be operational “within a few months”, according to the CEO.
Kumar said CRXzone’s trading volumes and sign-ups were “steadily going up”, and the company was trying to bring in more market makers to boost this further.
The company is owned by a 50:50 partnership who self-funded the business, and it was not seeking additional funding at this stage.
Bitcoin still strong in Singapore
With its financial services-driven economy and reputation as an IT startup hub, Singapore looked to be an early leader in bitcoin space. Indeed, it is punching above its weight with eight bitcoin ATMs, a homegrown manufacturer, a couple of payment processors and a new digital currency industry group, ACCESS.
The country’s relatively liberal attitude to financial regulation may have assisted this, though some businesses are showing a preference for US headquarters in order to serve a still US-heavy bitcoin market.
CRXzone has a team of six working on the technical backend, business development and compliance. Kumar said he has complete confidence operating in the jurisdiction.
“The government here has given very clear guidelines on taxation and regulation so far, and we expect the same in future. We do not anticipate any problem in near future regarding the bitcoin businesses in Singapore.”
CRXzone’s office is in Singapore’s central business district, and Kumar added that customers are welcome to visit the office at any time.
The company adheres to the standard set of know-your-customer and anti-money laundering (KYC/AML) ID policies, requiring photo ID and proof of address to customer in any country. It is also a member of ACCESS.
Hat tip to David Moskowitz of CoinRepublic, who conducted the video interview with CEO Pawan Kumar below: