The Spanish Bitcoin startup Coinffeine has launched a technical preview of its peer-to-peer (P2P) Bitcoin exchange. For the first time in a P2P exchange, users can experience an automatic and secure exchange similar to that offered by traditional exchanges, but with all the advantages of the P2P.
This version is intended to enable independent users and banks to try the application at an early stage, integrate it into their services and operate as Bitcoin exchanges. Anyone interested can download the application and, once it is installed, can begin to buy and sell bitcoin with other Coinffeine users.
Although the Coinffeine Technical Preview is fully functional, they decided to go step-by-step in this early stage and distribute a version that is configured to be used on a Testnet or test blockchain.This way, users can try it without spending actual bitcoin.
“From today, the Bitcoin community can try Coinffeine, the first P2P Bitcoin exchange without arbitrators,” said Alberto Gómez Toribio, CEO of Coinffeine. “This is the same version that we are offering to our bank partners and customers. Users will have to wait a little longer to use it with real bitcoins, but we are sure the wait will be worthwhile. We hope to transform Coinffeine’s relationships with banks and payment processors into services that give them added value.”
To test the platform, users can download it from the Coinffeine website. Just as users do not need to register to use BitTorrent, they do not need to register or provide any identification to use the application; they just install it and use it.
Coinffeine is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
The new version also introduces a new user interface, which is very different from its previous public appearance.
“Few Bitcoin products invest sufficient resources in design and usability. Our team continues to grow, and we have recently added an expert in this field to our team. He has been in charge of the transformation of Coinffeine’s user experience, and the result is something completely new,” said Gómez. “Coinffeine’s intention is to combine the concept of a wallet and exchange in the same product. It is a concept we believe have a great potential, and therefore we leave the following steps to the imagination.
“Coinffeine is a desktop wallet like Armory or Electrum with which you control your money safely,” Gómez added. “This allows the company to avoid disclosing MSB, because we do not touch the money or the bitcoins from our users. We have learned much from the P2P industry and we want to apply many of these concepts to the FinTech ecosystem.”
The release concludes the period of private testing that started December 18th, where Coinffeine presented the first alpha version of the platform in a public event in Madrid and a limited number of users joined the private user experience program.
Prior to the release of the 1.0 version, they will evaluate the creation of a similar private testing program, but with real bitcoin and money.
Coinffeine, a desktop application
Coinffeine is a desktop application that has been defined by those who have tried it as the “BitTorrent for Bitcoin.”
The application works as a wallet, which allows users to store bitcoin safely and to connect an OKPay account – a payment processor similar to PayPal – to buy and sell bitcoin with other users.
The main difference with other P2P Bitcoin exchanges, such as LocalBitcoins or BitSquare, is that these exchanges function like eBay, i.e. with the need to establish contact with another person, agree on the price, and pay, trustingthat the user will receive the bitcoin. In Coinffeine, the process is automatic, safe and without arbitrators; the experience is the same as using an exchange as Bitstamp or Coinbase.
“In LocalBitcoins or BitSquare you can’t do trading efficiently because you can’t keep orders in the market that run automatically. In these markets, when a user opens an order that corresponds to yours, you must intervene. Some platforms incorporate persons acting as an arbitrator in a dispute, which makes the process a little safer, but much slower and expensive,” said Gómez.
In addition, with Coinffeine you do not have send your bitcoins to a platform to operate, as in Bitstamp. Instead, they remain at all times in your wallet, and only you have control over them.
Coinffeine’s design is similar to BitTorrent: It works between users. This means that the user does not have to register or provide personal information to use the application – he or she can simply download it and use it.
Coinffeine also is open source and the entire source code is available to anyone who wants to review it on Github.
Brief history of Coinffeine
Coinffeine is a Bitcoin startup based in Madrid. It was founded in 2014 by four Spanish engineers with previous experience working together on projects related to distributed systems and big data.
It was the first company in the world that was founded using bitcoin as social capital. The potential of Coinffeine’s work has been recognized at conferences such as CoinSummit. The Spanish organisation ICEX recently selected the startup as one of the 12 Spanish companies with most international outlook to be presented in Silicon Valley.
Photo by Freepik
Ferran Reyes is a social educator involved in cooperativism and commons projects. Nowadays he works for the crowdfunding platform @goteofunding and as a advisor for social economy as well as social and cryptocurrency initiatives. You can reach him on Twitter at @ferranrego