As our dearest reader knows from the previous articles of our online magazine, several countries of the world, among them China, Australia, France, New Zealand, have published warnings for private users and companies on deals and transactions in bitcoin, and other similar crypto currencies. The most disadvantageous moment is that this comments and statements are published by or in cooperation with financial institutions. The lack of support from banks was already experienced by many bitcoin activists – accounts were terminated. The closing of an account is very uncomfortable for a private user in many aspects, but might be deadly for an exchange service. Bit121 seems to overcome this hurdle.
The Bit121 is a new bitcoin exchange service that has been launched on the 11th of November. For the moment of writing it has about 500 registered customers and the volume of trading is close to 100 000 pounds. The registration on the platform is free and it provides transactions by users with accounts from sterling-denominated banks. For identification is necessary to provide personal data and account number. The security is provided by cold storage policy, two-factor authentication and e-mail verification for withdrawal requests.
The founders of the company are Jim Iddiols, who worked on Bit121 since March and was a sales director at IBM for 27 years, Nicholas Dann, who was Iddiols’ colleague at IBM, now - an entrepreneur and property developer, Mark Vickery, owning ABL Resourcing, a financial consulting firm.
The most terrific part about this startup is that they are working with Barcalys. It was mentioned on the fund transfer page, but was substituted by PacNet Services later. The company is a mediator between the exchange and the bank, having several accounts in other British banks. The company is famous for allowing merchants to process direct debit requests, cash cheques and accept credit cards in their business.
An official comment was requested from the Barclays and featured s very short answer. The exchange service Bit121 is not on the list of customers, but the bank rejects the offer to make a statement on the policy on crypto currencies. Tom Robinson, who earlier tried to establish a similar service BitPrice was surprised that Iddiols was successful in his work. Robinson met with many representatives from the leading banks and received negative answers with no trace of mind changing in the closest future. Now he attempts lobbying UK regulators and banks, to remove additional obstacles between the service and the customers. He believes that it is very uncomfortable when the bank understands that their customer is involved in operations with bitcoin.
The Bit121 had some problems during the first operation month as well. It has stopped for an hour after one of the users claimed to find incorrect calculations of the platform. The warning was false, but brought some losses due to the delay. Sometime after, a newsletter awarded to the users containing emails and additional data of the recipients.
However, all the mentioned problems do not make the effort of the service less important to the bitcoin society – the founder succeeded in creating an official cooperation chain with the leading UK’s bank. This example might serve for other startups and maybe change the general attitude from the authorities.