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The U.S. is still without a go-to exchange to buy and sell large amounts of bitcoin. And with today’s news that the once dominant Japan-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has suspended withdrawals to work on technical issues, SecondMarket is looking to cash in on the opportunity.
Today, New York City-based SecondMarket, which allows people to buy and sell stakes in private companies, said it will now let people buy and sell bitcoin through its service. The minimum buy or sell order is 25 bitcoins. One bitcoin is currently trading at about $725, according to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index.
SecondMarket CEO Barry Silbert stressed that the new initiative is not yet an exchange, with most of the transaction process occurring offline. That said, he implied that the trading may eventually be brought online if sufficient demand is shown.
“There is a clear need for a U.S.-based, regulated, compliant and trustworthy bitcoin exchange,” he told Re/code in an email this morning. “This could be the first step in that direction.”
Silbert is an unabashed bitcoin supporter, having last year created the Bitcoin Investment Trust as a subsidiary of SecondMarket. The trust’s value moves with the price of bitcoin and is only open to investors willing to pony up at least $25,000.
Silbert has also personally invested in more than a dozen bitcoin startups, he has said previously.