Bitfinex has removed its $10,000 minimum equity requirement to start trading on the cryptocurrency exchange, enabling a broader range of investors to participate.
The company, based in the British Virgin Islands, cited "overwhelming demand from a wide variety of traders" for the change.
"We simply could not ignore the increasing level of requests for access to trade on Bitfinex from a wider cohort than our traditional customer base," Jean-Louis van der Velde, CEO at Bitfinex, wrote Tuesday on the company's corporate blog.
"For the last six months, we have been working hard to ready our platform for a new wave of customer accounts and are now in a position to open Bitfinex to a wider audience," he added. "By dropping our minimum equity requirement, the only limits are now set by the traders themselves.”
To be clear, this does not necessarily mean unlimited margin borrowing. According to the terms and conditions page on Bitfinex's website, customers can finance no more than 70% of the value of the digital tokens they buy on the exchange.
Further, if a trader ends up owing lenders more than their tokens are worth, "Bitfinex reserves the right to seize, take over, and assume all of your liabilities and collateral and to dispose of one or more of your positions," the terms and conditions warn.
Bitfinex also said Tuesday it's been migrating the exchange's operations onto "self-designed, dedicated servers with premium hardware for advanced security and lowest latency."
Further, the company is upgrading certain areas of client services, such as: "automated responses to common queries, and quicker issue resolution" from customer support; a new know-your-customer (KYC) portal; and additional information on the tokens listed on the exchange.
The exchange has been long mired in controversy over its connection with the stablecoin project Tether, with which Bitfinex shares leadership. Tether has been struggling to provide proof of its dollar reserves backing the USDT stablecoin, and ended up saying the tokens may not be backed by fiat money alone.
The two companies have been scrambling to maintain consistent banking relationships after Wells Fargo stopped serving them in 2017. For a short time, Bitfinex and Tether had accounts at Noble Bank in Puerto Rico until the end of October 2018 and finally ended up as customers of Bahamas-based Deltec. Also in October, some Bitfinex clients complained they had trouble withdrawing their funds.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.