Bitcoin exchanges are tricky things. In an industry designed around avoiding the need for trust in any form, there’s something vaguely backwards about putting your money into the hands of an unknown party that may not give it back. The high-profile, probably-fraudulent loss of the money in Mt. Gox only drives the point home. However, as of now, there isn’t a good, provably trustable, decentralized exchange in existence yet. For now, a decent half-measure is community-owned exchanges, with known operators, where the community itself can buy ownership in the exchange, profit on its operations, and exercise a measure of control over it.
That’s what Crypto-Trade originally set out to be. Founded by a small group of friends in late May of 2013, the exchange allows users to trade a variety of cryptocurrencies, charging a small fee for each transaction. Shortly after its launch, the exchange issued an IPO via btct.co and litecoinglobal.com. By purchasing shares, users were able to earn dividends on the operation of the exchange. Unfortunately, this came to a halt when both of those services shut down their operations. Crypto-Trade responded by implementing their own Bitcoin-based stock exchange, and listed themselves on it.
During its lifespan, the exchange has had several periods of limited functionality, due to technical failures of the backend, and a hack in which several thousand dollars were stolen (the owners of the site ate the loss out of their own pocket). However, the site has always returned, and has earned something of a trial-by-fire reputability. That said, its total transaction volume is still much smaller than it needs to be to survive in the long run, and the site has been plagued by delays on various fronts. The operators of the site told CoinReport that these issues were largely due to the labor-intensive way many actions within the site are handled, presumably for security reasons.
In order to address all this, Crypto-Trade plans to launch an updated, revised version of the site (called, simply, “V2”), which provides a number of new features intended to address some of the shortcomings of the current exchange. Planned features include an improved UI, more backend automation, better mobile support for iOS and Android, and the ability to vote on new Altcoin support, in an effort to attract users of other currencies to the platform. On top of that, the exchange plans to implement tiered membership in an effort to make the exchange more profitable and friendlier to power users.
Look for the updated version of the exchange to launch in the next two weeks.