The cryptocurrency wallet, Blockchain, has been building an exchange to get more crypto in the hands of retail investors. Named The Pit, the exchange is the first crypto trading foray for Blockchain, which is already the largest wallet provider with a user base of 40 million.
It is not just "another crypto exchange," Nicole Sherrod, Blockchain's head of retail products, told Cheddar. The Pit, Sherrod said, is designed to address three major problems that exchanges face today: reliability, liquidity, and speed.
"People who have been trading crypto, particularly through 2017 and 2018, are super frustrated with the technology that exists in the space," Sherrod added on Thursday, stressing that The Pit is faster than any other available exchange.
Performance and latency are typically measured in milliseconds, but Sherrod said The Pit will be the first to complete orders in microseconds, which will allow users to connect with banks and investors at significantly greater speeds.
"There are millions of people today who are invested in cryptocurrency; I want to see billions of people invested in it," said Sherrod, who joined Blockchain in July 2018 to lead product development of The Pit. She previously led the active trading product division at TD Ameritrade.
Sherrod added that the exchange's simple, easy-to-use front-end experience is central to improving retail investors' accessibility to crypto markets. And while there won't be a lot of social capabilities in the platform at launch, Blockchain said it does plan to enable traders to talk and communicate with one another.
The exchange will be available in the U.S., although not in states that require a license to operate. It also has structured banking relationships to facilitate deposits, withdrawals, and fiat-to-crypto trading in USD, EUR, and GBP.
Initial assets include BTC, ETH, BCH, LTC, USDT, and PAX. The company plans to add additional tokens assets in the near term.
"Since we made our announcement that we are launching, we have been inundated with inquiries from prospects," Sherrod said.
Blockchain is offering the first 10,000 users that fund their accounts fee-free trading for the first 30 days.
Cheddar's Spencer Feingold contributed to the reporting.