In the January 2016 press release of Bnktothefuture.com, it was stated that approximately $1bn in venture capital has been invested in Bitcoin companies in the last seven years. In less than a year approximately 5% of that sum has already been invested through BnktoTheFuture.com.
They have also claimed that 10% of this investment made through them has used the digital currency Bitcoin, that exists without the need for investors to use a bank at all instead of traditional fiat money. Does this mean that the number of investors preferring Bitcoin over fiat is growing?
True for all?
Is the investment made through Bitcoin increasing in the entire market or is it true just for BnktotheFuture.com?
Simon Dixon, the CEO of BnktotheFuture.com believes that the 10% investment made using cryptocurrency is unique to them, and in the real world Bitcoin investing is tiny compared to fiat money. He stated:
“We are the only online investment platform that is able to compliantly accept fiat and Bitcoin so there is no other comparison. Most coin sales don’t accept fiat as they are not regulated to do so.”
However, Tone Vays, Head of Research at Brave New Coin, doesn’t agree that the investments are increasing, in fact he stated:
“Early adopters are no longer funding many start-ups as the ecosystem has grown and has its own momentum with traditional VCs. The concentration of Bitcoins in a few hands has also been greatly mitigated.”
Michael Patryn, Founder of Fintech Ventures Group was also sceptical of this increase and stated that most relevant investors still prefer to utilize traditional payment methods to make an investment due to accounting and legal reasons.
As per Simon Dixon, “The main incentive to invest using Bitcoin is that we charge no merchant processing fee or escrow fee. With fiat we escrow all funds with a third party until the deal is complete and there is an additional third party merchant processing and escrow fee in order to invest using card or bank transfer. Investors like the cost saving when investing with Bitcoin over card payments and the speed compared to making bank transfers.”
Paul Jones, FinTech researcher and startup investor, a regular investor at BnktotheFuture.com said that, “As a US investor, sending money oversees to invest is a hassle and expensive using legacy banking systems such as wire transfers. It could cost me a large fee and take a lot of time and paperwork to use regular banks. Using Bitcoin costs very little and is very fast.”
When asked about whether Bitcoin may get more popular in future, Jamie Burke of OutlierVentures.io said “increasingly crowd funding will become decentralized and therefore cryptocurrency will become more common, especially in bonded financing, where release of funds is performance based like movies or kick-starter type product startups”.
Paul Jones is also hopeful that Bitcoin will find more acceptance in the legal environment:
“Personally, I’m optimistic that the legal environment will eventually be more inclusive and favourable overall. The UK has recently decided to treat bitcoin like any other foreign exchange currency, and it’s a place where financial innovation and banking is very important.”