CoinBit.me is a new Bitcoin platform that was launched in Malaysia in April. Since its inception, 17,800 registered users from all around the world have signed up.
Co-founders Thinhes Selvaraja, CEO, and Calvin Kong, a software engineer from Hong Kong, started their business with a specific goal in mind — to be the first Bitcoin company incorporated in the country.
“I would like to see CoinBit become the first Bitcoin company that's publicly listed in Malaysia. We already plan our vision and mission for that direction. We plan to expand not only in Malaysia but throughout South East Asia as well.
The growing startup now has six members controlling legal, accounting, design and business development. CoinBit also provides other cryptocurrency solutions like bill payment and phone top ups. Malaysia offers a “fresh landscape” for the currency, says Selvaraja. As the company progresses, they plan on providing services like a market and charities for its members.
Selvaraja also believes they are the first Bitcoin company following Islamic finance and Sharia compliance laws. Cointelegraph got a chance to talk with him about his efforts to spread Bitcoin adoption in Malaysia. He explains how CoinBit complies with the religion's rules and how users benefit from its model.
Cointelegraph: CoinBit is based in Malaysia. How is Bitcoin adoption going in that region?
Thinhes Selvaraja: Malaysia is a very fresh landscape for Bitcoin knowledge. Some Malaysians have heard about it, but they just cannot elaborate much, since they don't know the whole story about it. In Malaysia, we have so many fake cryptocurrency businesses, where these companies are promoting their digital currency by using Bitcoin as benchmark. So many of them believe bitcoin already surpassed its all time high, and it's not good for investment compared to those fake cryptocurrencies. So I can say we have very much a lack of solid knowledge, or a misunderstanding, about what is Bitcoin all about, and behind the technology of the blockchain.
Now social media helps Malaysians get the right knowledge about bitcoin and it's just matter of time where we will have huge involvement of Malaysians. The potential of Bitcoin growth in Malaysia is so huge. Pioneers will make great opportunities here. We already have some groups that start bitcoin activities. We started some two years back. Mainly they bring exchanges from Singapore and other countries, but none of them are registered businesses here. I can proudly say CoinBit will be the first Bitcoin company startup incorporated in Malaysia.
“At the moment we don't offer any spot price exchange trading platform, since those kinds of trading needs to be regulated by a Federal Reserve Bank. So, we do trading like how goldsmiths sell their gold.”
CT: You have a charity platform in the works. Can you explain this project?
TS: Our charity system will operate instantly, where our members can choose to donate some Bitcoin to one of our selected charity foundations every time the members do a transaction with us. We also will highlight our most generous members who always donate with us. We believe bitcoin is the best platform to donate money for places that are not so easy to reach out to. Our members from any part of world can participate in our Bitcoin Donation System.
CT: Can you tell us about CoinBit’s trading platform?
TS: We sell Bitcoin and we buy it back as well. Members from all of the world can store their bitcoin with us. We don't charge any fee for Bitcoin that's purchased from us. At the moment we don't offer any spot price exchange trading platform, since those kinds of trading needs to be regulated by a Federal Reserve Bank. So we do trading like how goldsmiths sell their gold.
“I can say we must be the first Bitcoin company following through with Islamic finance with Sharia compliance, where we use structure called 'mudaraba.' We share our profit and loss among crypto members. Every time members buy or sell or even pay bills with Coinbit.me, we give cash back to them.”
CT: Can you explain the referral program?
TS: I can say we must be the first Bitcoin company following through with Islamic finance with Sharia compliance, where we use structure called “mudaraba” [defined as “a partnership where capital is provided, in cash or assets (no debt is accepted) by one party — the fund provider — and labor is provided by the other party”]. We share our profit and loss among crypto members. Every time members buy or sell or even pay bills with Coinbit.me, we give cash back to them.
We also reward crypto members who become a premier member with Coinbit.me, as low as US$99 for lifetime, with some profit share. Every company employs a marketing team to market their product or services, but in Coinbit.me, we have crypto members who will market our products and services around the world with some profit share. Of course Coinbit.me is not MLM company. We believe in referral system.
“We will offer an escrow service as well. This is very much a benefit for the country where they don't have this kind of facility before us.”
CT: A market is lined up for development. Can you tell us about this?
TS: We have members from more than 100 countries. These days, it is difficult to do online merchant services, mainly because of payment problems. Now we plan on developing an online mall for our members who can sell their products by accepting bitcoin as payment channel. We will offer an escrow service as well. This is very much a benefit for the country where they don't have this kind of facility before us.
“Bitcoin will certainly become a big hit here in Malaysia, especially now where our Ringgit is losing its value against other major currencies in the world. Inflation is getting higher and people are looking for alternative solutions for transferring money, and also as payment solutions.”
CT: You provide mining opportunities on your platform as well. How does this work?
TS: Well, at the moment we collaborate with Bitclub Network, where anyone who is interested in purchasing mining contracts can invest in them. So far, they have offered best service for our investors. We have been approached by quite a few miners also for partnerships because of the huge membership we have around the globe. We might consider owning our own mining platform where members will be given profit share, but it all depends on how difficult the mining process, setup and cost may factor in. I can say we are more focused in a partnership with a successful mining company at the moment. Investors in Malaysia love to invest in mining pools.
CT: Do you offer educational resources to teach Malaysians about bitcoin?
TS: I am corporate trainer in a finance module and have my own corporate training company before I started CoinBit. So this makes it easy to start sharing new topics among my training participants. We plan to have weekly meetups in every major city in the region to share about bitcoin knowledge and opportunity for them with CoinBit. We even plan to open a branch in Cambodia soon.
CT: Would you agree Bitcoin is the future of remittance in your region?
TS: Bitcoin will certainly become a big hit here in Malaysia, especially now where our Ringgit is losing its value against other major currencies in the world. Inflation is getting higher and people are looking for alternative solutions for transferring money, and also as payment solutions.