A one-of-a-kind Bitcoin-only consumer trading platform opens its doors in the UK today.
BTXDeals, the latest venture of serial entrepreneur Nick Boardman, presents a marketplace in which users (both consumers and retailers) can list items for free in a model similar to that of Amazon. Bitcoin is the only payment method available on the service, but retailers can choose to have customer payments converted to GBP on their behalf.
The move marks the completion of the first such model designed for the traditional consumer-merchant market, specifically designed to rival extant major “e-tailers” solely using Bitcoin.
Boardman said in a press release issued today:
“As the first of its kind, BTXDeals embraces the potential of Bitcoin and provides a safe, secure and transparent form of online shopping that puts the power in the hands of the consumer.”
According to Boardman, BTXDeals will offer a cost-per-sale value 50% lower than that of eBay or Amazon, and the service will not seek to compete with its own sellers in the marketplace. No additional fees will be incurred, while listing items will be free regardless of the price or quantity.
The price of items listed is automatically displayed in GBP, with the corresponding BTC rate calculated live using BitPay’s price index. In addition to Bitcoin and GBP, prices will be available for reference in EUR and USD “for added convenience.”
Boardman himself has a history of emerging market startup success. Among his previous projects is Rock Group, the first online merchant allowing customers to customize orders of the newly developed laptop market. “We’re passionate about the potential of this virtual currency and believe it will become the future for all e-commerce transactions,” he added.
While the UK market has traditionally been a tough one for Bitcoin propagation according to various surveys, merchant interest in BTXDeals has been positive. Grange Hotels, Time Square Birmingham and international aircraft charter operator Shy Aviation are among those already signed up to the service, while BTXDeals says it is in negotiations with “a number of other major suppliers and well known global brands” with an eye for rapid expansion post-launch.
Shy Aviation CEO Scott Sullivan commented:
“We’re confident that Bitcoins are capable of shaping the future of e-commerce, so joining a company that is looking to become an early pioneer of this form of online trading was an easy decision.”
The opening of BTXDeals is the second encouraging piece of news to come out of the UK market this month. Last week, Swedish exchange Safello announced it had secured banking support from a UK-based bank which would allow it to offer more competitive funding options for customers with UK bank accounts. Prior to this, SEPA transactions were the best value option available, which nonetheless incurred transfer and GBP-EUR conversion fees.
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