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Wall Street Tech Firms Open Bitcoin Exchange

| 13 Mar 2014 13:35
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Perseus Telecom and Atlas have joined forces for a Digital Currency Initiative.

MtGox may be gone, Flexcoin may have been stripped bare, but that doesn't mean Bitcoin is dead and gone. Wall Street tech firms Perseus Telecom and Atlas have joined forces to create a new exchange for Bitcoin traders in New York, Hong Kong and Singapore. Perseus will provide the network, while Atlas runs the platform itself. They call it the Digital Currency Initiative, and say they will offer "the only 100% cold storage (offline) omnibus account" as well as "hack-proof multi-tiered architecture."

Perseus is the senior partner, at least in terms of experience. It's an established telecom services provider, with connections in Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney, Hong Kong, London, Frankfurt, Stockholm, Moscow, Madrid, Milan and Dublin. It has significant banking, finance and fund management experience. Meanwhile Atlas, established 2013, is a digital currency trading platform provider. The two have been working in concert for some time; this announcement is its formal declararion.

The Digital Currency Initiative knows what it doesn't want to be. "The Perseus Digital Currency Initiative is providing governance strictly supporting KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) principles," says Perseus' Jock Percy. Security is to be a high priority, and the cold storage initiative should keep customers' cryptocurrency safely locked away. When Flexcoin went up in smoke, only the cold storage wallet remained; and the new Atlas exchange intends to keep most of its reserve in cold storage, only keeping the bare minimum necessary for anticipated withdrawals in a hot wallet.

But possibly the most significant takeaway from this announcement is that Bitcoin may be about to change its character. Up till now, the Bitcoin exchanges of the world have been rough-and-ready start-ups run by perhaps a dozen people or so; very free-wheeling and pioneering, but unstable, vulnerable to attacks from within and without. If someone like Karpales, justly or unjustly, is accused of fraud, it's because the Bitcoin community has become used to fraud. It's part of the price of doing business, but an established Wall Street firm is a different animal from a former Magic the Gathering trading site. Moreover if Atlas takes off, more established businesses will want to move in on the Bitcoin market. Bitcoin's Deadwood days may be over and done.

Source: Ars Technica

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