Over the years, components of the human race have evolved immensely. From the way we speak to the way we appear and even the food we eat, humanity faces constant evolution. While these evolutions have been in different aspects of our daily lives, they’ve all had a connecting contributing factor—technology.
Technology is at the center of humanity’s evolution. Innovations in this sector of human society have constantly brought about new and unique ways to approach certain things. Technological innovations also have influenced a host of other sectors – from agriculture to education, security, politics, lifestyle, and even financing.
Finance has been majorly affected by this technological drive. Traditional methods of financing are becoming obsolete by the day as modern innovations are replacing them. The introduction of digitized finance has also turned out to be a massive game-changer.
With digital financing came the introduction of digital currencies for use in the public space. This concept led to the rise of blockchains and cryptocurrencies, ultimately charting a path for the future of next-generation financing—decentralized finance (DeFi).
Presently, cryptocurrencies are experiencing a surged appeal from the general populace as more people continue to understand the specifics of these game-changing digital currencies. Consequently, there are a host of several cryptocurrencies available on the market, each of them holding different market values, leading up to billions of dollars in market cap. A notable example of such cryptocurrency is the very popular Bitcoin.
Though the number of cryptocurrencies available today may make it almost impossible to unify them in a single platform, a sizable number of the top cryptocurrencies must be connected in trading pairs. Hence, the introduction of exchange platforms. There are a host of exchange platforms available in the public space. Some of them are decentralized, while the rest of them operate with a centralized authority.
With the number of exchange platforms available on the internet, it is sometimes difficult to decide which are legitimate and which are scam platforms. To answer these questions, we do an in-depth analysis of some of these platforms to understand their uniqueness, features and also answer questions concerning their legitimacy.
In this article, we shall be reviewing itBit as a cryptocurrency exchange platform. That shall cover all the essential features of the crypto exchange, and we believe it will help you gain a deep understanding of how they function and leave you to decide if you should trade with them or not.
|Location||New York, U.S.|
|Trading option||Cryptocurrency, Fiat|
|Trading pairs||BTC/USD, ETH/USD, PAXG/USD, BCH/USD, LTC/USD.|
|Security||Multi-factor authentication (MFA), Multiple layer DDoS protection, 100% cold storage|
|Account types||Individual accounts, Institutional accounts|
itBit is a crypto exchange institution that offers its services in over 100 countries globally, including 49 states in the US. Licensed by the New York Department of financial services, itBit is suitable for both beginners and experts.
When the US crypto exchange market was facing less competition, thanks to the dominance of Coinbase, itBit, a relatively new and largely inexperienced exchange platform at the time, was launched in New York, United States of America. That was back then in November 2013 when CEO and co-founder, Chad Cascarilla, took the bold step to start up this company.
Fast forward to the present day, itBit now functions as a bank with license and regulation from the New York Department of financial services. As a result, the exchange organization operates in all 50 states of the United States except for Tennessee. And it boasts of operations in over 100 countries in the world. Today, the company has an international headquarters in Singapore, and it operates as one of the leading cryptocurrency exchange firms in the US.
itBit is a centralized exchange platform, offering several cryptocurrencies for exchange. It currently operates under its parent trading platform, Paxos, and allows users to log into itBit and Paxos using the exact account details.
Summarily, itBit is the exchange platform of Paxos. It boasts of high liquidity, crypto/fiat exchanges and is a household name among cryptocurrency specialists. Besides, it is a necessary option for individuals trying out crypto trades for the first time.
Trading platforms are a primary pointer to how advanced and easy to use an exchange can be. Most exchanges offer two types of platforms that a user can trade with: a mobile app and a web-based trading platform. itBit, however, doesn’t feature the use of a mobile app; instead, the exchange makes use of a web-based trading platform with which its users can conduct their trades.
That might be disappointing for users who would appreciate the extra feel a mobile app brings; nonetheless, itBit’s web trading platform is no less valuable than a mobile application. The web platform offers a unique user interface that makes it easy for traders to navigate. You can easily access basic account features from your mobile devices, tablets, or PC. Charts, open orders, order history, and account balances are some of the features that could be accessed using the web platform.
More so, using the web platform, you can place limit orders and carry out crypto exchanges; although, the platform doesn’t support advanced features like stop loss and margin trading. The absence of these features may seem like an enormous letdown for seasoned crypto traders and specialists.
That is a crucial feature available on exchange platforms. It offers an option that traders can use to place their trades. While some offer a broad range of tradable pairs, others like itBit have a limited number of trading pairs. The platform, which initially started as a Bitcoin-only trade expanded its services—as with the expansion of crypto—to include crypto assets like Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Stellar Lumens (XLM), Paxos Gold (PAXG), Paxos Standard (PAX) and Binance USD (BUSD). The latter two are Stablecoins pegged to the USD at 1:1 and insured by US FIDC insured banks.
itBit initially accepted fiat currencies like the Euro (EUR) and Singaporean Dollar (SGD) in addition to the US Dollar (USD). However, the former two are no longer accepted for use as a trading pair, and holders of these currencies would first have to convert them to USD before they can be deposited. Conversion of these currencies is done by Silvergate Bank at the acceptable FX rate determined by Silvergate.
The currently accepted trading pairs on the itBit exchange are BTC/USD, ETH/USD, PAXG/USD, BCH/USD, and LTC/USD.
With the introduction of digital assets came the risk of digital hacks and cyber breaches. Digital finance providers are usually targets of these hacks and threats. For any digital asset exchange to thrive, it must have state-of-the-art security protocols to mitigate potential breaches.
That said, itBit boasts of having an advanced security protocol characterized by multi-layer DDoS protection. The exchange also claims to achieve 100% cold storage, which is vital to safeguard assets stored in the wallets of its users.
There is also an option for multi-factor authentication (MFA), highly recommended by the exchange. The exchange also makes use of military-grade encryption to securely store all personal identifiable information on its systems. It aids in cushioning vulnerability threats that may arise based on the business values of users’ accounts.
It is worthy to note that since its launch in 2013, the exchange hasn’t faced any significant attacks or hacks on its systems. That is probably a sign of the exchange’s commitment towards the security of its users, investors, and assets on its system.
The world of cryptocurrencies and digital assets, despite its far-reaching tentacles in different areas of finance and industry, still has aspects in which many are prone to confusion. As such, there is a need for reliable and available customer service support to help users navigate the somewhat sophisticated aspects of digital financing.
However, as with non-digital assets and finance, there are bound to be some instances that will require the attention of a service representative. These may be due to some malfunction or errors arising from the user or the exchange provider themselves. Whatever be the case, prompt attention from a customer support agent has to be directed towards resolving these issues.
In the areas of customer support, itBit boasts of a very remarkable customer support base. They have an excellent online support service which is available 24/7. The company also lists a mobile number on its platform, which users can use to contact its customer service. Additionally, the exchange boasts an extensive FAQ database, providing answers to almost every question a user may have about the platform. The good thing is that it updates these FAQs periodically; thus, keeping users informed over new developments that could occur on the exchange.
Exchanges require fees to keep their platform running. These fees are an essential part of these exchanges as they play a role in either inviting or scaring away potential investors. itBit charges three types of these:
- Trading Fees
itBit makes use of a maker-taker fee model for charging trading fees on its platform. This model is determined through a tiered approach which helps it maintain enough liquidity on the platform. The maker order, which helps to deepen the liquidity pool of the platform, is charged at a rate comparatively less than fees charged for taker orders (orders which reduce liquidity on the platform).
Until the 25th of March 2021, itBit rewarded maker orders by paying a rate of 0.3% for each order added regardless of tier level. However, this changed from the 25th, with the platform announcing new rates that allowed rebates to come in only at a specific tier level.
Currently, maker orders are charged at 0.25% at tier 1. That takes a downward slope until it gets to tier ‘7’, where a fee of 0% is charged. Tiers ‘8’ and ‘9’ experience a rebate of 0.3%. On the other hand, taker orders are charged at 0.35% at tier 1. That will reduce with an increased 30 day rolling volume as the tier levels advance.
- Deposit and Withdrawal Fees
Digital asset deposits on the itBit platform don’t attract any charges. Similarly, wire transfers are not charged. However, users outside the US may attract a charge of about $30 on wire transfers. SEN deposits attract a 0% fee both for users in and outside the US, while ACH fees are pegged at a minimum of $1 and a 1% rate; they are not available for users outside the US. Wire transfers have no deposit limits, but ACH deposits have a limit of $500 weekly.
Withdrawal fees vary based on a number of factors. SEN withdrawals attract 0 charges, while crypto withdrawals are not charged by itBit, but are charged based on the market’s network fees. Wire withdrawals have a minimal charge of $20 for users in the US. and $30 for users outside the US. These fees may increase depending on the charges collected by remitting banks. A daily limit of $60,000 is placed on individual account withdrawals, while $500,000 is the daily limit for withdrawals from institutional accounts.
Meanwhile, in addition to other forms of deposits already stated, itBit accepts only wire deposits and transfers and does not support credit card transfers. Unfortunately, at the time of publishing this review, ACH transfers are unavailable.
Paxos, the parent company of itBit, offers over-the-counter (OTC) trading for individuals with a verified Paxos account. The company requests quotes from other liquidity venues. Afterward, it will offer the best prices available on the market.
OTC trades only cover trades over $100,000 and are available only for BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, and XLM. To carry out the OTC trade, you only have to contact the OTC desk with orders. One can send orders through Telegram, email, or Skype. Afterward, the OTC trader will scout different liquidity pools and then bring up the best prices for you to decide.
Once you agree on a trade price, it will be booked, and Paxos will send you settlement instructions to your Paxos registered email address for confirmation and any additional steps. Settlement of OTC trades usually occurs on the business day they are booked. However, should trade be booked towards the end of a business day, and it will be settled the following business day.
A unique feature available on itBit exchange, rarely seen on other exchanges, is the presence of APIs. These APIs assist traders in automating trades that could be seamlessly carried out in events where they may be absent.
There are three solutions currently provided by the APIs available on the exchange platform.
Market Data and Trading APIs: The platform offers two APIs: the REST and FIX APIs. These APIs provide trading solutions for market data and trading data for level two itBit order book. Institutions can leverage these APIs to provide their customers with opportunities for setting up automated trading strategies for fiat currencies against selected BTC, ETH, PAXG, BCH, and LTC.
Fiat Gateway: Stablecoins issued by Paxos (PAX and BUSD) could be easily swapped for USD using this API fiat Gateway. Platforms holding native cryptocurrencies could use this feature to swap fiat for a Paxos stablecoin to be deployed on the itBit platform.
Swapping Stablecoins: Paxos issued stablecoins can easily be swapped without extra fees in one step using the API solutions.
To harness the features and trading rates available on the itBit platform, you must first possess a Paxos account. The platform has two types of accounts: the individual trader account and the institutional account. These accounts have different requirements to set them up, and they function quite differently from each other.
- Individual Accounts
To set up an individual account, you have to begin by visiting https://account.paxos.com/, where you would click the ‘Sign up’ option. Once done, you’ll be required to set up an email address and a password. You’ll then have to verify this email address before the collection of additional account identification information.
Users in the United States would need to verify their identity by supplying a legal name, birthdate, address, and social security number. Further proof of identity (POI) and proof of address (POA) pieces of information may be required to be submitted before verification may be completed. This verification procedure may take between 1 and 3 business days before completion.
Users outside the US may be required to submit details such as name, birthday, address, document ID number – in addition to other POI and POA documents before verification may be completed. That could equally take between 1 and 3 business days.
- Institutional Accounts
To set up an institutional account, you have to first visit https://account.paxos.com/signup and register with your institution’s email address. As with individual accounts, you’ll have to verify this email, and upon verification, you’d be required to log into paxos.com and fill out a KYC form. When filling out the form, you have to select “Institutional Onboarding” when the prompt comes up. Additional documentation is required for institutional accounts.
Once KYC is completed and submitted, the relevant documents and details will have to be uploaded via the support form that would pop up next. Documents that are more than 50Mb are not supported, and you may need to convert to a zip file before uploading. This process could be very tedious and tiring, and verification of institutional accounts takes between 1 and 7 days to complete.
To avoid users creating multiple accounts or accounts with irregular details, the process of account and identity verification has been put in place. Aside from the fact that this process ensures that individuals maintain only a single account, it also helps boost the platform’s security. There are several means through which itBit carries out its verification process.
Multi-factor Authentication (MFA): The platform strongly advises its members to carry out multi-factor authentication on their mobile devices and smartphones. To get an MFA code, you first install an authenticator app on your mobile device, preferably Authy, Google Authenticator, or Duo Mobile.
Once you’re logged into your Paxos account, you should use the authenticator app to scan the QR code on your screen. Alternatively, in the authenticator, you can input the verification code generated underneath the QR code. This code could be saved in case of a stolen or lost device.
Once scanned, input without spaces, the 6-digit code generated from the authenticator app into your Paxos account page and add a device name. That is the final stage of MFA.
POI: These are documents required during verification that prove your identity as a registered citizen of a particular place. They consist of a government-approved ID, driver’s license, and any other type of registered identification.
POA: These are required to prove that you reside in the location which you’ve listed. They include bank statements and utility bills, and they must be recent, not older than six months.
itBit, the exchange platform of the trading company Paxos offers unique features and capabilities – which one could utilize for a seamless trading experience. Operating as a bank under license from the New York Department of financial services, the platform guarantees top-level security, affordable fees, and high liquidity.
It accepts USD as a fiat currency for deposits, can be used to purchase cryptos for starters, and boasts features such as limit orders and automation via APIs, which institutions and individuals can leverage when carrying out trades.
itBit is available in all 50 states of America except for Tennessee and is available in over 100 countries.