On 3 March 2014 the world's first Bitcoin exchange with instant fiat deposits and withdrawals was opened. The company behind the project, Michau Enterprises Limited, has led the domain market in Poland for more than 6 years. Their collective experience might become the most stable and sufficient background for the success of the BitMarket exchanger.
Nonstandard, Innovative Approach
Currently, the platform aims to satisfy the Polish Bitcoin market, providing a clean and streamlined interface with the most advanced security features. It goes without saying that all accounts receive two-factor authentication, but any withdrawal is protected with additional confirmations. The design of the trading interface was provided by the world's leading exchanges. It is efficient and uncomplicated, and aims to gain popularity among beginners and experienced traders alike.
The adoption of an extensive API offers traders the ability to submit programmed orders. It features HMAC hashing and “tonce” parameters for a higher level of security.
Some of you may remark that such features have nothing to do with innovation, but let us first take a look at the fiat deposits section. The main delays in fast online transactions currently appear on deposit and withdrawal of fiat funds, which are performed via bank accounts. Poland has a well-developed banking environment which facilitates very fast actions. However, BlueCash, Express Elixir, PayU and DotPay systems (some of them used by BitMarket) offer even more competitive transfer speeds. The numbers can be compared with the speed of Bitcoin and Litecoin movement over the network.
Dariusz Litawinski, head of marketing at Michau Enterprises Ltd., commented:
“I must say our users love it. With classic exchanges it takes several days to complete a single transaction, which is too long for the average user. It also requires traders to hold sizeable amounts of cash on the exchanges, in order to be able to react quickly to the changing market situation. After two or three days, which is usually how long it takes to deposit new funds at an competing exchange, the trading opportunity is long gone. Not so in our system; a user can deposit money, make an exchange and withdraw funds, completing the whole transaction in less than 5 minutes.”
The improved speed of transactions reduces the number of coins kept on the exchanger. The most secure option is to store the money in the wallet, so the service provides instant deposit allowing users to monitor their money in a more secure way.
Mr. Litawinski added:
“We come to the Bitcoin market from a unique perspective of trading Internet domain names. The domain trading business in Poland has developed many unique innovations, and as the market leader we were following them all along. This allows us to give Bitcoin trading a fresh look, and bring a slew of new features to the table. Instant fiat deposits and withdrawals are a prime example of this.”
Interview with Michal Pleban
Michal Pleban is the founder of Michau Enterprises Limited. The company is already around 6 years on the market, Pleban establishing it straight after graduating from Warsaw University of Technology with an M.Sc. Eng. in Computer Science. The company became the country's leading domain name registrar and marketplace. It is partly owned by the international EuroDNS SA from Luxembourg.
Cointelegraph's editorial team contacted Mr. Pleban for a short interview.
Cointelegraph: Could you explain the idea behind hot/ cold wallets?
Michal Pleban: The hot and cold wallets represent different ways of storing users' Bitcoins securely. A hot wallet is accessible programmatically from the exchange software, so that withdrawals of users' funds are possible. A cold wallet is stored offline and holds most of the funds from the exchange.
The idea is that the hot wallet should store only the minimum number of Bitcoins required to operate the daily deposit/ withdrawal traffic. All additional funds are moved to the cold wallet. In the unfortunate event that a hacker gains access to the hot wallet, they would only be able to steal a small portion of the users' funds. The cold wallet, stored securely offline, would be safe and so would the user deposits.
Cointelegraph: Are you planning foreign language support?
Michal Pleban: Yes, we plan to expand our platform to other countries and languages, especially in the central European region.
Cointelegraph: What other security innovations did you use?
Michal Pleban: We work on a redundancy principle, which means that in any case, access to at least two different system components is required to perform an operation. For example, there are two different databases in the system, with different security credentials, technology and encryption. If a hacker gained access to one database and tried to manipulate the accounting records, the system would lock them out because the record would be inconsistent with the second database. We have extended this principle to nearly all components of the system.
There are also several automated mechanisms which monitor the exchange for unusual activity and perform instant blocking of accounts or even the whole exchange, alerting the human operator to investigate the situation. We try to minimise the scope for human error by performing most of the tasks programmatically, while retaining 24/7 human surveillance of the whole marketplace operation.
Cointelegraph: How do you feel the trust level of users is in Poland after the fail of Mt. Gox?
Michal Pleban: The Polish market is still positive about Bitcoin and we did not see much withdrawal from the market after MtGox fell. Most Polish funds are held in local exchanges, and while several Polish users lost money with MtGox, it did not have such a big impact as in many other countries.