CryptoBridge isn’t a cryptocurrency exchange in the pure form. It is instead a gateway to the decentralized cryptocurrency exchange BitShares. That is why CryptoBridge and BitShares should be analyzed together as the core components of one decentralized cryptocurrency trading ecosystem. However, as CryptoBridge states in its “Terms and Conditions”, the gateway is not part of BitShares in any organizational or functional way.
CryptoBridge was developed in 2017 and is headquartered in Stuart, Florida, United States. It is operated by Liquidblocks ApS (CVR: 39950030), a company incorporated under the laws of Denmark, with a registered office at Gl. Kongevej 60, 1850 Frederiksberg, Denmark. CryptoBridge was built on top of the BitShares (BTS) platform, with the main idea to bring decentralized cryptocurrency trading closer to the masses. BitShares, on the other hand, was founded in 2013 but was brought to the market a few years later in 2015. The project was launched by Dan Larimer, an industry-renowned figure that had also co-founded Steemit and, at the time of this writing, holds the position of CTO for Block.one. Larimer is also the creator of the DPOS (Delegated Proof of Stake Algorithm) consensus algorithm and the Graphene blockchain technology.
BitShares is designed as a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange based on the open-source MIT-licensed Graphene technology and, according to its team members, is “the world’s first decentralized cryptocurrency exchange.” It offers the ability to trade two types of assets – smart coins and user-issued assets. According to information from BitShares’ website, the platform provides “a high-performance decentralized exchange service that can handle the trading volume of the NASDAQ, while settling orders the second the user submits them.” This is achieved thanks to the industry-renowned Graphene technology. According to BitShares’ information, it is capable of handling one hundred thousand transactions per second and has an average confirmation time of just 3 seconds. The team behind the project points out that BitShares is more efficient in handling transactions than MasterCard and Visa combined. In general, BitShares was launched as an alternative to centralized exchanges, after Mt. Gox and BitStamp were hacked. The exchange’s founder has created a very informative post in which he describes what BitShare really is and what features does it offer.
BitShares has a firmly positive reputation among market participants and cryptocurrency investors. This is thanks to several reasons. First of all, Dan Larimer and the other co-founder, Charles Hoskinson (one of the eight original co-founders of Ethereum, who then left to set up IOHK, a blockchain company consulting and developing for corporations, government entities and academic institutions) are public figures with transparent backgrounds and recognized experience. Next, since March 2016, BitShares has been a part of the Microsoft Azure Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) package which brings credibility to the business. Aside from that, BitShares’ internal operations are run as a Decentralized Autonomous Company (DAC), with the aim of enabling BitShares holders to decide its future. All this has made it one of the preferred decentralized exchanges worldwide.
When it comes to CryptoBridge, it is worth noting that the gateway was designed to ease the trading on the BitShares platform and provide its clients with some additional features and functionalities. That way, clients can get access to popular tokens and altcoins and take advantage of up-and-coming projects, listed on the exchange. According to the information on the CryptoBridge website, the target audience of the gateway is altcoin traders who are “fed up with the performance problems, thefts, manipulation, hacking incidents and government take-downs associated with centralized cryptocurrency exchanges.” To overcome these problems, CryptoBridge allows its users to hold the private keys to their BitShares accounts at all times, without any access from the exchange representatives or third-parties. In cases there are security problems though, in its “Terms and Conditions”, CryptoBridge states that users are entitled to refunds when they suffer financial loses (but the users shouldn’t be associated with criminal activity or solely responsible for that). According to CryptoBridge’s team, all deposits, withdrawals and the complete order history are fully auditable, as they are “transparently stored on the BitShares blockchain.”
As a company registered and operating under the laws of Denmark, CryptoBridge complies with GDPR and applies strict KYC measures. All collected users’ data is processed by a third-party service provider called Fractal (Fractal Blockchain GmbH, based in Germany). Users who want to create an account with CryptoBridge are asked to provide personal details including, but not limited to: names, CPR number (for Danish individuals) or ID/passport numbers, address, proof of address, photo from a copy of ID or passport, birth date, email, origin of funds, etc. According to CryptoBridge, Fractal verifies user accounts within 24 – 72 hours.
The exchange offers its users the chance to take advantage of its token – BridgeCoin (BCO). BCO serves as the utility token of the platform and allows its holders to claim a percentage of the revenue stream collected from trading fees. BridgeCoin started mining on July 12, 2017, and ended on December 1 the same year with no pre-mining stage involved. Twenty-seven million coins were mined in total, and the supply is said to be finite. The gateway also has a referral program that allows investors to earn USD 2.50 per 1 BTC trading volume from their referees, which is paid in BCO.
CryptoBridge tries to simplify the concept of decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges that many investors find too complicated, by providing instructional videos.
All in all, CryptoBridge tries to maintain a transparent policy and provide a secure service to its clients. It offers customer support via Discord, email, and social media.
Regarding its online reputation, like many of the other decentralized exchanges (in this case – a gateway to a decentralized exchange), the user opinions are mixed. At the time of this writing, there are no reported cases of missing funds or failed transactions, although there are plenty of users complaining about the unintuitive platform design and their struggles to operate with it.
At the time of this writing, there are no reported cases of hacker attacks, security breaches or governmental investigations, related to CryptoBridge.
As a final remark, it is worth noting that the platform was developed as an addition to the BitShares which means that if there is a problem with the decentralized exchange, CryptoBridge users will also be affected.