While the number of people who want to use Bitcoin or Ethereum for their daily purchases is growing, one of the most confusing aspects for beginners is still how to actually buy and sell crypto. Online peer-to-peer exchanges may look questionable or too complicated for some users. Purchasing altcoins may be even more complicated - in order to buy many of them, users have to purchase major cryptocurrencies first.
Netcoins Inc. is one of the companies that aims to offer a solution for those who prefer to buy Bitcoin and altcoins from a trusted source, rather than online. The team is creating a new opportunity for altcoins to get into the physical retail marketplace, allowing users to buy crypto instantly for fiat with cash, debit, or credit card.
How it works
Netcoins, a company based in Vancouver, BC, Canada, has a global retail network of 170,000 locations in 53 countries across six continents, where people can easily walk into a store to buy Bitcoin and altcoins with fiat.
The company says, these 170,000 stores open up the purchase of coins to the average person right in their own neighborhood, without the potential headaches of signing on with an exchange.
Most of the stores sell vouchers which can then be redeemed online, on the Netcoins website, for crypto. In some locations, Netcoins operates its own virtual crypto ATM software that allows retailers to sell a wide variety of cryptocurrencies. “We turn any device like a tablet or laptop into a virtual crypto ATM, so that consumers can buy crypto easily in a familiar retail setting,” the company says.
Any retailer that has a checkout can host Netcoins’ virtual crypto ATM software. It can be a supermarket, an electronic or beauty store – virtually anywhere where customers make purchases. The only thing required by the customer is an email address and a small convenience fee, which the retailer shares with Netcoins.
“The customers don’t need to understand anything more about cryptocurrency,” said Mark Binns, Netcoins’ CEO and director. Customers don’t even necessarily need to have a digital wallet. The software can create a blockchain wallet for them automatically. Netcoins’ software engine also provides real-time quoting, exchange options, instant ordering, and automated invoicing. The app can run on a browser from any internet-connected device.
Netcoins has been working in the cryptocurrency market for four years. The company believes that its platform can make cryptocurrencies more popular for the 95 percent of the population that is still not familiar with the crypto market.
The team also hopes their solution will help altcoins overcome the issues they currently have. Though the usage of altcoins is growing, Bitcoin and Ethereum are still the dominant cryptocurrencies for transactions.
Besides the problems with mass adoption, it may also be very expensive for altcoins to get listed on many traditional exchanges. Netcoins recently ran a special coin listing contest where users could nominate and vote for their favorite altcoin. 83 coins were nominated and the cryptocurrency Steem took home the top prize. They will get a free listing worth $30,000 on Netcoins’ platform. In just the last few months, Netcoins has increased the number of coins available on its platform from 2 to 17.
The Netcoins team believes in the potential of altcoins. “We allow altcoins to gain exposure in a retail environment and make it available for the average consumer, saving the need for a traditional exchange account” — the company says. In 2018, Netcoins listed 13 paid altcoins on its LAAS (Listing As A Service) business model for coin listings.