Trading roughly $450,000 every 30 days as of last month, Ohio-based BitQuick is a new peer-to-peer platform that intends on swiftly connecting digital currency buyers with sellers through over-the-counter (OTC) trades. The majority of the company’s user-base is from the United States, but there are also Taiwanand India branches.
It’s been a busy few months for BitQuick. The volume of trades on their website has increased by nearly five times since January 2015, and it was just chosen as a top-five startup on Boost.VC’s demo day, last week.
In comparison to conventional bitcoin exchanges, Jad Mubasalat, CEO of BitQuick tells Bitcoin Magazine, “When you look at the typical incumbents, like Coinbase and BitFinex, they require multiple business day delays and a bank transfer to be able to buy your first bitcoins”, which, admittedly, can be frustrating for those buying bitcoin to speculate, spend online, or perform cross border payments.
The delay factor of most big exchanges robs bitcoin of its novelty in instantaneous transfers without questions. “BitQuick, however, allows anyone to trade bitcoin instantly with cash, without any risk of fraud,” added Mubasalat. Unlike other OTC trading platforms such as Localbitcoins, Bitquick relies onBitGo’s P2SH multi-sig protection technology with a hefty insurance level of $250,000.
Like many other Bitcoin early adopters, Mubasalat’s experience dates back to managing an escrow service on Bitcointalk.org, where he had to learn about digital currency the hard way.
“I had the misfortune of being scammed for over 10 BTC and having my Mt. Gox account hacked and losing 20 BTC,” he said.
At the time, the Bitcoin community lacked an international mainstream, user-friendly escrow interface for digital currency trading. Only a few days after he got robbed, someone was offering to sell a prototype for a Bitcoin middle-man service on Bitcointalk, and Mubasalat swooped in.
“I checked it out and loved it so much that I offered to buy the platform before he launched it for $300.” After some tweaking here and there, BitQuick.co was officially launched in August 2013.
Traction came along naturally to BitQuick through word-of-mouth, but Mubasalat needed help managing the increased trade volume because he was still studying Biomedical Engineering at Ohio State University at the time.
“So I brought on Chad Davis in October, 2013,” Mubasalat said. “He was already my roommate then, and we had known each other since the sixth grade, so it made perfect sense!”
Three Simple Steps
- The user selects an order from the current order book, entering his or her email address and desired BTC to trade as well as his or her wallet info.
- The desired sum is paid in cash (physical bills) to the account shown on the confirmation page by going to any local branch of the seller’s bank and filling out a deposit slip, or sending a SEPA transfer (EU customers).
- Finally, a link is sent to the user’s email, where a proof-of-purchase receipt is uploaded.
Transfer times in the United States have a three-hour guarantee, with no registration required. At only 1 percent to 2 percent in fees, the two-man team is “working towards integrating new payment methods in addition to cash deposit in the United States.”
It’s not far-fetched to see them dominating the OTC market soon, at least in the western world.
A future for the Middle East
Although Bitquick.me was launched for a short while to cultivate a market in the Middle East, it was soon pulled due to a lack of demand. Mubasalat said that they “shut it down temporarily to focus on the United States platform.”
For the foreseeable future, bitcoin might not gain a large everyday usage in the Middle East until there is an emergence of basic Bitcoin infrastructure such as wallets and exchanges, he said, given that the Middle East is largely underbanked and has plenty of access to mobile technology.
In the meantime, Bitquick.co users can look forward to a Clef integration, which should be completed in the next few months to give users an alternate mode of authentication.