by Eliot Harkin
This week, BTCMANAGER brought readers exclusive interviews and perspectives from some established names in the bitcoin space, as well as some up-and-coming innovators and entrepreneurs. Check out our feature interviews with the people behind DECENT, KeepKey and Netcoins and find out what’s new with Airbitz and Shapeshift.
This week, Califorinia-based Airbitz announced that it is joining companies like Xapo, Shapeshift.io, Monetas and other fintech businesses who have decided to locate in Zug, Switzerland as they grow their operations in Europe. While the mobile wallet company will still be based primarily in San Diego, the new expansion is expected to energize Airbitz’s European outreach.
As another part of their European strategy, Airbitz has hired Lucas Betschart as a core developer. Besides his expertise in C++, Build/CI Systems and blockchain technology, Betschart brings his connection to the Swiss bitcoin community as an experienced meetup group coordinator.
Following the huge rise of trending cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Dash, the trading volumes of popular cryptocurrency exchange Shapeshift have surged substantially over the past two weeks.
“Litecoin interestingly has been pretty flat, with only marginal gains during a rally in almost every other alt,” said Voorhees.“In my personal opinion, it makes much more sense for Ethereum to be the number 2 coin, instead of Litecoin….Bitcoin and Ethereum are complements, while I see Bitcoin and Litecoin more as competitors. It doesn’t surprise me at all that Ethereum has overtaken Litecoin.”
DECENT is a peer-to-peer network that looks to solve the problems entertainers have in making a profit from their intellectual properties. Whether the loss of profits be from piracy or from fees taken by middlemen, DECENT plans to combat both by using the blockchain to ensure that creators receive the compensation they are due.
“The world of media is dominated by oligopolies of big players,” Matej Michalko, co-founder of DECENT told BTCMANAGER. “There is a lack of free publishing platforms that would transform the current market dominated by oligopolies into a perfectly competitive one.”
BTCMANAGER recently had the opportunity to briefly talk with Darin Stanchfield about the emergence of hardware solutions like KeepKey that keep bitcoins safe and secure from nefarious actors. He also shared a few of his perspectives on what the broader landscape of bitcoin security portends for the future.
“Users and organizations need to be guided to do the right thing,” said Stanchfield. “We shouldn’t be talking to users about the intricacies of managing private keys. Instead, we should provide them solutions that ensure that they know what to do, For these users, it should ‘just work,’ and they should never have to think about it.”
Netcoins is a Canadian-based startup that has developed the world’s first “virtual” Bitcoin ATM. By offering no-cost entry for retailers into the Bitcoin space, the company aims to offer online and physical retail shops a new way of attracting tech-savvy customers that typically shop online.
“Physical Bitcoin ATMs are incredibly popular; however, the high machine cost and space requirements put them out of reach for most retailers. Netcoins solves these problems for retailers as a no-cost entry into the bitcoin space,” said co-founder Michael Vogel to BTCMANAGER in this feature article.
The concept of Brave is to insert advertisements of their own that are perfectly responsive to all mobile sizes, to prevent the delay of page loading. Each publisher will then receive payments depending on the traffic, clicks, and the number of impressions on the advertisements.
Currently, Eich and his team are planning to integrate a standard web browser bitcoin wallet, which automatically sends the payment to the wallet address of the publishers when it achieves a certain threshold.
London-based software development firm Qredo has announced the launch of an encryption platform consisting of an SDK and set of distributed cloud services to help developers create applications with private data and encrypted conversations.
The difference between existing security-based platforms and Qredo is that government agencies can demand information from platforms like Dropbox because those platforms have the necessary authority over user data to reveal confidential and sensitive information. The Qredo platform however, cannot interfere with its cloud-based encryption processes, neither can it store an alternative encryption key to allow anyone else but the owner of the data to access information on the platform.
CEO of the digital currency exchange Shapeshift.io, he molded a sleek online platform where consumers can initiate digital currency conversions, all in a matter of seconds. Now Voorhees and his team have developed a new tool called CoinCap for iPhone that promises to deliver just-in-time information to stakeholders seeking to become even larger participants in the growing crypto market.
Says Voorhees: “As the universe of blockchain-based assets grows, it’s fascinating to watch the rise and fall of this new asset class. CoinCap makes it easy to observe and track blockchain assets and cryptocurrencies.”
Coinify and Bitcoin Vietnam are the first companies in the Vietnamese bitcoin market to target local merchants and businesses. As the pioneers of the niche, the two companies will collaborate to encourage merchants and businesses to accept cryptocurrencies.
“We have been looking into new business opportunities in Asia, and the fact that Vietnam was missing a bitcoin merchant processing platform was the most convincin,” Coinify CEO Mark Højgaard explained in an interview with BTCMANAGER. “We want to use this first-mover advantage to become a dominant player in Vietnam and use these learnings for further expansion to the nearby regions, such as Thailand and Malaysia.”
Security Grade Protective Services, Inc, a security service provider, announced that they are accepting bitcoin as payment for their services in protection, surveillance, and security for businesses in the cannabis industry.
“We’ve gotten a vibe from our clients that if, at a federal level, they are made to jump through fire hoops they have no choice but find other avenues of approach,” CEO Derek Porter told BTCMANAGER. “Right now, they are forced to find alternative [payment] solutions. Over time, we expect to see a better system of checks and balances, and even safer ways to make transactions.”