As scams and money laundering scandals have been surging on the popular over-the-counter (OTC) Bitcoin trading platform LocalBitcoins, Ohio-based exchange BitQuick, is determined to set new standards within the OTC trading industry and introduces security measures aimed to "weed out the bad players."
Holding the promise of "[taking] out LocalsBitcoins," BitQuick had been selected to integrate the Bitcoin accelerator program at Boost VC, and had debuted its intensive 3-month stay in Silicon Valley.
"We don't want to serve that user base"
Aiming to provide a convenient and secure solution for Bitcoin buyers and sellers, BitQuick has been striving to build a safe trading environment for Bitcoin users and most particularly, newbies.
In addition to multisig addresses for customer holdings and real-time proof-of-reserve, the startup implemented Jumio's NetVerify ID verification services, and is currently on its way to becoming part of the Bitcoin Identity Security Open Network (BISON), a professional network and service that collects and validates personal data of customers.
"The BISON certification simply means that we are utilizing Jumio’s NetVerify ID verification service to verify the authenticity of documents," explained Jad Mubaslat, founder and CEO of BitQuick. "We still run our own in house AML/KYC process to protect our consumers and ensure nobody is participating in money laundering."
BitQuick monitors closely the operations occurring on its exchange, and any transaction judged as abnormal, or greater than roughly US$400 in size, require a valid government issued ID.
These measures will ideally dissuade LocalBitcoins users that are participating in black market activities to use BitQuick, said Mubaslat. "We don't want to serve that user base," he further noted.
While many users might feel considered about sharing their personal data, BitQuick assures they "will never be sold or disclosed to third parties, unless required by law enforcement."
Serving the unbanked
One demographic that BitQuick is targeting in particular is the unbanked population, said Mubaslat. The startup is currently working on a streamlined remittance product, planned to debut in May 2015, upon graduation of the Boost VC accelerator program.
"Bitcoin was built to serve the unbanked, but many services like Coinbase and Circle, require a bank to initiate a transaction," said Mubaslat.
"With BitQuick, all you need is cash and a Bitcoin address.
At that, the buyer is still able to remain anonymous to the seller on BitQuick, and will always receive their bitcoins within 3 hours of uploading payment.
This presents a great opportunity to workers with family abroad that receive a salary in cash and want to be able to send money home, without a bank."
Debuts at Boost VC
BitQuick was selected to integrate the Tribe 5 of Boost VC, a Bitcoin accelerator that invests in 20-30 startups twice a year for a 3-month intense and immersive program in San Mateo.
Boost VC's CEO Adam Draper firmly believes that "BitQuick is the strongest contender" to LocalBitcoins, adding that "[their] lack of innovation has caused competition to emerge."
Startups that are selected to integrate Boost VC's Tribe 5, will receive 300 BTC as an investment at the end of the program, in addition to the US$10k-$20k that is already invested by Boost VC for admission, according to a blog post from ZapChain Magazine.
Furthermore, these startups will have the opportunity to receive mentorship from industry leaders, such as BitGo's Ben Davenport, Sean Neville of Circle, Michael Dunworth of SnardCard, as well as angel investors and VC firm representatives, including Tim Draper, Sean Percival of 500 Startups and David Chen of Lightspeed Venture Partners.
"Matt Schlicht with ZapChain from Tribe 4 is the entrepreneur in residence and has been showing the different Tribe 5 companies the ropes of Boost.VC. We just wrapped up our first week," stated Mubaslat.
"[Boost VC offers] a completely immersive environment to develop and improve our product alongside 24 other Bitcoin companies that were also accepted into Tribe 5.
We are all feeding off of each other’s creativity, drive and ingenuity."
BitQuick further announces a new collaboration with Pheeva, a Bitcoin wallet that had concluded a partnership with Gyft, enabling users to spend their bitcoins at hundreds of retailers.
The startup is looking for feedbacks from customers, and invites Cointelegraph readers to try its service. The first 30 Cointelegraph readers can waive BitQuick's 2% fee by completing the form available at this link.
Boost VC, which is looking "to push forward the future of technology" and accelerate 100 Bitcoin startups by 2017, had recently set sight on companies from emerging markets.
In late August 2014, Boost VC picked up CoinHako, formerly CoinSupermart, a Singaporean digital currency exchange, which became the first Asian Bitcoin startup to integrate the program.
Draper later stated that he firmly believed that Singapore was the 'place for Bitcoin in Asia.'
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