CoinJar is a Bitcoin currency platform and wallet service based in Australia allowing users to send payments globally to contacts or general Bitcoin wallet addresses.
Users can store their bitcoins and the amount can also be displayed in the user’s preferred fiat currency units on the CoinJar dashboard. The funds can be handled either in BTC or the preferred currency amounts. In Australia, users are also able to use Coinjar Swipe, a debit card tied to one of their CoinJar wallets, allowing them to conduct over-the-counter transactions withdrawals from ATMs using their CoinJar funds.
When users sign up, they pick a username that will be used as their ID on the CoinJar platform. Their contacts will then be able to use this username as an easy way in which to pay the user, and for the user to keep track of their own list of people they send payments to through the CoinJar “contacts” directory. Users are also given a more normal Bitcoin wallet address to receive funds from outside of the CoinJar network.
To get the full benefit of the service, users are required to verify their identity through a third party - service GreenID in Australia - or through the submission of copies of identity documents elsewhere. Verification also increases the daily limits set on the depositing, sending, receiving, and withdrawing funds.
Users are able to pay and request payments to and from wallet addresses and CoinJar usernames, and can transfer funds between their accounts within CoinJar. If the user ties a bank account to the service, then they can also withdraw funds directly from their CoinJar accounts to that bank account.
The CoinJar iOS wallet app allows users to buy and sell Bitcoins on the move, as well as generating QR codes for paying and receiving funds in over-the-counter and in-person transactions. The app also provides a “fair rate” service informing the user of the average exchange rate for 10 major fiat currencies into Bitcoin.
CoinJar also offers a merchant service for businesses interested in accepting Bitcoin for payment in their work. Merchants can tie a bank account to their CoinJar account, and then generate invoices and orders for customers, which display the total price in BTC and the preferred fiat currency units. Customers are provided with a Bitcoin address for payment and the merchant can withdraw these funds to their regular bank account later on.
CoinJar has set out to be an easy and accessible platform for digital currency payments and transactions using Bitcoin. By providing a very easy-to-use and intuitive payment interface, CoinJar has taken a lot of the mystery out of the Bitcoin world. The availability of equivalent fund amounts displayed in the reference currency means users not so involved in the day-to-day exchange rate can still operate successfully in seeing the cost of payments and value of funds received.
The provision of the CoinJar Swipe card in Australia also gives users a much more familiar reference point. By being able to withdraw funds sent to them via a normal ATM into AUD or another local currency, users unfamiliar with Bitcoin will find this a potentially reassuring and convenient option. It could also represent a good step in the world of remittance payments, as users are able to send funds internationally in a simple manner directly to an account that can be spent at locations accepting debit cards by the recipient.
Founded in Melbourne, Australia and now headquartered in London, UK. CoinJar was founded in 2014 by Asher Tan and Ryan Zhou.
Coinjar charges a 2% fee on all transactions. Limits for sending and receiving funds stand at USD$20,000 (AUD$25,000) per day, and US$82,0000 (AUD$100,000) for transfers between CoinJar accounts. Verified users can deposit US$2,000 (AUD$2,500) per day, or more via negotiation with the CoinJar team.
1. What inspired you to found CoinJar?
I've always tried to solve big problems with technology. Bitcoin and blockchain technology present a unique opportunity in history to make huge improvements in the ways we interact with money and value.
2. What’s the process of getting VC backing been like? What doors has it opened for CoinJar
We're lucky enough to have the right kind of investors. They offer us support and advice without micromanaging so we can make quick decisions. Our investors are also always happy to do some legwork or facilitate an introduction, which is invaluable especially in a challenging industry like ours.
3. The digital currency exchange and payment platform market is quite crowded. What steps are you taking to differentiate CoinJar and provide users a unique experience?
We're a consumer focused company, and we build products that are user-friendly and simple. Bitcoin is a new technology to the masses, so our focus is on making it useful and relevant to everyone. Aside from offering a wallet and exchange service, we're building infrastructure that leverages the blockchain, like CoinJar Swipe, our Bitcoin debit card.
What has also really worked for us is having a dedicated in-house support team with short turnaround times and helpful responses. Providing peace of mind through quality customer service will always be a priority.
4. Exchange security has been a particularly hot topic lately, what steps has CoinJar taken to make sure it’s user’s funds are safe and secure?
On the digital front we use industry standards such as Secure Socket Layer (SSL), MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication), and regular testing and audits of our systems. In addition we securely store approximately 90% of all customers' Bitcoin offline in several safety deposit vaults. There is no silver bullet for security so we are always on the lookout for new ways to protect ourselves and improve both operational and computer security.
5. Any exciting new features in the works or big plans you can share with us.
Bitcoin has yet to live up to its potential as an international payment rail and remittance tool. Our new product suite overcomes the barriers facing Bitcoin, including the difficulty in acquiring bitcoin easily and reliably, price volatility and lack of end to end solutions. Keep an eye out for some of our new product offerings coming to more countries soon.
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