A minor trend we’ve noticed this summer has been companies trying to one-up services such as Local Bitcoins to make it easier to find other cryptocurrency users nearby so you can meet up and transact in person.
BitPay’s Get Bits Facebook app comes to mind.
A Bay Area startup called Bay Coins, LLC has also recently entered this space with a mobile app for Android and iOS.
The app, Bitcoin Bazaar [Android / iOS] feature a simple interface that allows users to see who nearby is buying and selling Bitcoins and via what payment methods. Bay Coins CTO, Shahani Weerawarana, said in a statement.
“Mobile is a natural fit for those who want to trade bitcoins, and buying or selling with cash is still the easiest way to acquire the currency.”
Since Bitcoin Bazaar lets users handle payments among themselves, the company never transacts fiat money, though it does have an escrow feature.
Weerawarana, who has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Purdue University, helped found Bay Coins alongside MIT alumnus Prasath Nanayakkara. The duo also work together at the head of a software engineering firm called Auxenta in Sunnyvale, CA.
With an admittedly limited sample size, initial reviews for both the Android (nine total reviews) and iOS versions (two total reviews) of the app are five stars across the board. One Android user noted that the Bitcoin seller pays a 1% escrow fee, but this was "very nice compared to exchange that wants $35 fee for $3k transaction.”
The Bay Coins site is pretty sparse at the time of writing, so there are no indications as to whether newer versions of the app will include more features.
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