Poloniex now allows fiat-to-crypto trading, credit card purchases

Cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex is rolling out new functionality for its user base as it attempts to resurrect its marketplace.

The exchange announced Tuesday that it’ll now allow fiat-to-crypto trading, meaning customers can deposit and withdraw funds using bank accounts, as well as purchase crypto assets trading on Poloniex with debit and credit cards.

Poloniex, founded in 2014 and acquired by Goldman Sachs-backed Circle for $400 million last year, said it is bringing fiat connectivity “for the first time.” The exchange, which previously operated only as a crypto-to-crypto trading platform, has seen its marketshare collapse from the ICO heydays of 2018.

The roll-out of fiat-to-crypto trading comes as competition continues to mount in the U.S. crypto exchange market, with Bitstamp recently launching a U.S. base and Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange, eyeing a launch in the country at some point in the near future. Indeed, Binance also partnered with Simplex, accepting debit and credit cards for crypto payments and effectively offering a fiat-to-crypto gateway.

Still, Poloniex is hoping recent additions to its platform will save its market share from deteriorating further, like its recent relaunch of its Trollbox trader forum. The firm also boasts its recent innovations in staking makes it the first exchange to offer daily stake rewards to holders of Cosmos ATOMs, which allows users to stake while being able to trade their coins. The firm also recently upgraded its API.

These developments, however, have been underpinned by regulatory uncertainty at the Boston-based firm, which recently shut its payments application Circle Pay and delisted several tokens for US-based customers. As The Block previously reported, the firm slashed the amount it was looking to fundraise from a reported $250 million to $150 million.

As for the specifics for the fiat onramp, deposits and withdrawals are currently capped at $50,000 and $25,000 per week, respectively, per the announcement.

For debit and credit card purchases, Poloniex has partnered with Israel-based payments processing firm Simplex. The firm allows crypto purchases of as little as $50 and charges a 3.5% fee (or $10, whichever is greater), Poloniex said.

U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is also one of the few exchanges to allow crypto purchases using bank accounts and debit and credit cards. While Gemini, Kraken and Bitstamp exchanges are a few others that accept a host of fiat currencies.



By Frank Chaparro and Yogita Khatri