“We strike a balance between crypto and fiat exchanges and risk vs anonymity” – Bitlish, crypto exchange platform
Current capitalisation, basic popularity, customer feedback, reputation and currency features – everything is evaluated before a new currency is added to the platform, says the representative of Bitlish, cryptocurrency exchange platform.
Bitlish is the London-based cryptocurrency platform. The company will be an exponent at the Blockchain International Show London on June 6-7, presenting its solutions and new technologies for doperations with digital money. In the interview, Bitlish representative talked about authentication system, security at crypto exchanges and the company’s future plans.
Interviewer: Blockchain International Show London (BSL)
Exponent: Bitlish, a cryptocurrency exchange platform (B)
BSL: As now all exchange platforms are secure, could you tell us about your two-step authentication system and its advantages, please?
B: We follow leading industry practice and provide several options for multi-factor authentication (MFA) on our platform. Authentication can be made via SMS (text), Authy or U2F. Customers can choose what operations will require additional confirmation from them. Usually, customers will choose operations such as log-in and funds withdrawal. MFA settings and requirements can be set up in the online customer profile interface any time. Login confirmations can be viewed as an annoyance by some customers who tend to deactivate them, but we highly recommend that our customers keep additional verification active at least for withdrawal activity. You can’t have enough security, and this simple mechanism gives our customers peace of mind. We also require all customers to set up a passcode in the Bitlish mobile app. There’re multiple layers of security on our platform which keep your assets safe, but we definitely want our clients understand that some of these settings are user control considerations and are configured at their options only. Security awareness is key. This becomes extremely important because with growing cryptocurrency popularity we gain more and more users who are not familiar with online security basics.
BSL: A lot of exchange platforms’ users are concerned with providing their personal information such as address, banking details, etc. What kind of information do your users provide and could you explain why people should not worry about it, please?
B: It was our original approach to identify our customers for fiat currency operations. Unlike some of the largest existing exchanges which let their users to transact both fiat and crypto currencies anonymously, we always wanted to adhere to the financial services requirements even though it wasn’t our legal obligation. In fact, we implemented and followed international AML and KYC practices from inception. Something most crypto exchanges have only started doing recently, to the discontent of their customers, we have been doing from the very beginning. Despite the delayed growth of our customer base the approach has paid off by helping us establish relations with professional financial institutions which regarded Bitlish as a sound and transparent business customer. You have to understand that we require customer identification only if such customer wants to do transactions with fiat currency. If the customer uses only crypto, we never ask to verify the identity except in some rare cases of fraudulent behaviour and/or service abuse. So, we strike a balance between crypto and fiat exchanges and risk vs anonymity.
To complete the identification process, a customer is required to provide us with two documents – a government issued photo ID and a proof of residence (utility bill, bank statement, or similar document). We also ask customers to answer a few simple questions regarding their source of funds. That’s it. Again, why do we do it? Because of existing regulations in the conventional financial sector. If a customer buys crypto for fiat on our platform we have to make sure we have all documents and information that our financial institution partner might need in case of investigation. We keep that information confidential and do not disclose it to third parties unless required by an authorised entity under the applicable law.
We do not request customer bank details unless a customer wants to verify his/her bank account. It’s a separate process; do not confuse it with verifying the customer identity. You can use Bitlish exchange without verifying banking information and this is considered absolutely normal. But we have very favourable bank transfer fees, so the number of customers who verify their bank accounts is constantly growing. We have to identify customers making payments and be ready to answer our bank’s questions if any. When transfers start getting into the millions, it’s important for us to be able to document transactions to the satisfaction of our banking partners.
Why a user should not worry? Well, because we do not ask for bank details without a reason. Furthermore, nothing will be disclosed without a legal valid request and unless absolutely necessary. We are covered by British regulation here. Finally, personal data is covered under British personal data protection laws, and we are also obliged to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation for our continental European customers.
BSL: Talking about future plans, are you planning to create more trading pairs by adding more fiat currencies to the platform?
B: Yes. This occurs on a regular basis. In the last six months we have added Monero, Ripple, NEM, Bitcoin Cash, Helbiz, and more. All of them appear on the exchange with a standard pair of Bitcoin, and later paired with Euro. Other fiat currencies (i.e. United States dollar and Russian Ruble) follow with some trading traction. We have plans to add British pounds and Japanese yens by year-end.
BSL: Can you tell us how your Bitlish prepaid card works?
B: We have been working on this and going to bring our cards back to the market in the coming months. You will know once we start distributing Bitlish cards because they will differ from what you have seen on the market to-date. Bitlish card program is officially approve by VISA, and MasterCard is on the way. We have scored the existing card providers for many levels, spent much time negotiating the best market terms for our customers and have signed the final agreements now. The card issue and integration will take some time but we’ll get there. We will try to bring them to the new markets also. Follow our news and announcements for more details.
BSL: Are you going to add more cryptocurrencies to your trading list?
B: Yes, we are. As you might have seen on our website we have already started preparing the interface for that. There is a measured approach in Bitlish to how we decide what to add. We evaluate different factors, such as the current capitalisation, basic popularity, customer feedback, reputation and currency features. The next coin to be listed is IOTA. As for the rest of the list we will be making announcements soon.
The crucial point this year is that we have started trading another digital asset class – crypto tokens. We have listed Helbiz (HBZ) in April, and it demonstrated an impressive result. We hope the project will become a real success, an “Uber killer”. Requests for listing come in all the time. Tokens sound promising, but we strive for quality, not quantity. It is our customers who we care about most. So we prefer to be discerning about what’s listed on Bitlish.
Don’t miss a chance to meet the exponent and discover new crypto exchange technologies at the conference! Registration ►►►