Rising along with the recent run-up by Darkcoin has been a new altcoin exchange, MintPal. Incorporated in the UK and headed by directors Jay Shah and Jason Yates, MintPal has been steadily growing volumes during the past few months. Among the alt-exchange’s most popular coins are Darkcoin and Blackcoin. Their volumes, among those of other coins, often surpass those of Cryptsy. Rivaling Cryptsy, MintPal has quickly grown their available products for trade: currently, 54 altcoins paired with Bitcoin, 15 with Litecoin. Cryptsy has 136 based on Bitcoin, 56 on Litecoin.
Like iP-mart’s introduction of bitcoin payments, MintPal’s launch and growth have been pretty low key despite what appears to be their growing popularity.
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Among the challenges in evaluating digital currency exchanges is the verification of traded volume. In the past, volumes have been tampered via trading bots generating fictitious trades between accounts held by the exchange. While volume is difficult to verify, one proxy for meaningful activity is ample liquidity. For traders, and especially altcoin miners, ample liquidity when converting holdings to bitcoins and litecoins is the key for profits. In this regard, MintPal does pass the test. High volume coins are offering deep liquidity and tight spreads relative to other exchanges.
To learn more about MintPal and their emerging alt-exchange business, DC Magnates connected with Jay Shah, Co-Director of MintPal:
What was the motivation for starting MintPal?
Back at the start of the year, there was only one major player when it came to ALT coin exchanges and several smaller exchanges were coming and going whilst leaving their users out of pocket. We quite simply believed that we could create a viable competitor to Cryptsy and also not repeat the mistakes that the smaller exchanges were making.
How did it start off?
To say it started smoothly wouldn’t be totally honest, we had several sleepless nights in the first few weeks battling with scalability and little issues as we attracted far more traffic and volume than we expected. Once we had got to grip with these issues and handled the fast growing pains, we quickly hit our stride.
How do you feel you stack up against Cryptsy?
Cryptsy will always have age and history on their side, and I have massive respect for what they have done in the year they have been around. I would say though, that I am quite impressed with what MintPal has achieved in the 4 months we’ve been online and believe we offer a great competing exchange to Cryptsy.
You seem to focus on exotic coins, such as DOPE and METH, but leave out bigger names like NMC and PPC. Is the goal to corner this niche of the market?
Some coins may appear to be bigger and generally have their home elsewhere, but it is not necessarily what our users are after. We try to add coins that the majority of our users would want to trade.
Any plans to add USD trading?
We’re actually from the UK, so it’s more likely we would do GBP first, but this is not yet something we’re working towards. Our aim is to first improve the exchange functionality before we explore further options for growth.
You seem to dominate the market when it comes to certain coins, notably DRK and BC. How were you able to pull this off in so short a time?
I think the reasons are quite simple. First, our site is simple to use and has an elegant interface. We have good reliability in terms of deposits, withdrawals and site connectivity. We are also quite responsive with our customers, especially when an issue pops up.
Any future plans and other insights?
We have a lot planned for the coming months. I can’t reveal what we’re working on, but keep an eye on it!