A NORTH-EAST startup is making waves in the financial sector with its payment technology that allows people to pay in Bitcoin – but users may never know they are.
Bottle Pay allows users to pay for goods with cryptocurrency Bitcoin through their social media accounts, eliminating the need for a bank, third party and costly transaction fees associated with traditional banking.
Bitcoin is a virtual currency that works without a central bank. Coins are sent directly from person to person over the Internet and kept in a digital wallet.
Bottle Pay founder Pete Cheyne believes his app will help boost the general use of Bitcoin as it is specifically designed for digital natives who “know each other through an avatar, not banking information.”
The app, which announced Tuesday that it had secured £ 11 million in a seed capital round, enables people to make real-time international payments in both cryptocurrency and fiat currencies.
Sending money through Twitter, Reddit, and Discord also allows users to make low-cost micropayments.
Mr. Cheyne said, “Because of the established financial system, it is not economical for companies to use micro-transitions. When you make a payment, you get paid three middlemen who all want their cut, making the fees costly.
“But we don’t use this system because we have built our own infrastructure that works for a microeconomy and offers companies new opportunities for monetization.”
Bitcoin transactions have traditionally been slow because blockchain, the software on which it is based, is distributed. However, the Bottle Pay team took advantage of Lightning Network technology to create a second layer of software and enable real-time transactions.
Bosses say this also helps scale the product.
According to Cheyne, which launched a few weeks ago on February 10th, the numbers are strong for the amount of money already flowing through the app.
He said: “The start was great. Lots of people realize the value of Bitcoin.
“There is bitcoin as an asset and bitcoin as a network [the software it uses]. There is a lot of variation.
“The network is distributed and trustworthy, nobody uses it for personal gain.
“We are very excited about Bitcoin and it is up to us to show people its benefits and possibilities.”
While every transaction in Bitcoin is complete, users may never know that the app has a setting that will automatically convert Bitcoin back to fiat currencies.
Bitcoin scammers have
This means that users can avoid Bitcoin’s volatility as it pays to be driven by the market.
The app is currently available in the UK and the team plans to expand into Europe and the US.
Mr Cheyne added, “We are letting currencies speak the same language.”
It comes when Elon Musk’s Tesla hit the headlines when it bought Bitcoin worth $ 1.5 billion with a plan to accept it as payment in the future.
However, the risky move caused the automaker’s shares to slide and Mr Musk lost his title as the richest person in the world.
Research by Insights company Piplsay found that 46 percent of respondents believe brands like Apple, Amazon and Tesco should accept cryptocurrency. 28 percent disagree and 26 percent are not sure.
When asked what worries them about cryptocurrency, 29 percent of respondents said they fear hacking or fraudulent activity, while 19 percent said it was volatile. Around 26 percent stated that there were no regulations and laws and that the system was not known.
While cryptocurrency was once known for its anonymous nature, making it a tool for criminals, Cheyne says technology has advanced and users can be identified, adding, “It’s all overboard and legitimate. Every transaction can be tracked and is transparent.
“Elon Musk, who invests in Bitcoin, is really helping to legitimize the cryptocurrency and bring it into the mainstream.”
Mr Cheyne also argued that while Bitcoin gives other cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is the strongest because others are controlled by a company or foundation.
Bottle Pay consists of 30 employees in ten time zones, eight of which are located in the northeast.