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BIPS: Buy Bitcoins In Denmark With Your Mobile Phone

Op-ed - BIPS: Buy Bitcoins In Denmark With Your Mobile Phone

Note: there has been some confusion regarding Danske Bank’s involvement with this service. Danske Bitcoin is a service independently run by BIPS, and there are no formal agreements between BIPS and Danske Bank to facilitate the offering of this service

BIPS, a Bitcoin payment processor based in Canada and Denmark, has just announced a new service: Danske Bitcoin, allowing users with Danske Bank’s MobilePay service to instantly buy bitcoins from their phone. MobilePay an iPhone and Android application that allows anyone with a Danish bank account and credit card (and is over 15 years of age) to send money to other users instantly. MobilePay is currently making an introductory offer of no fees until January 1, 2014, at which point, DanskeBank’s Mobilepay page reports, DanskeBank may add a fee that “will be a competitive price that reflects the costs of running the solution”. Users need not be specifically in Denmark to buy bitcoins; as long as one’s Danish bank account and credit card is active, the service works from all over the world, and the money will be immediately credited to one’s BIPS account. As of July 14, the service is not released yet, but should come online soon.

The process to buy bitcoins with Danske Bitcoin is as follows:

  1. Install DanskeBank’s MobilePay app to your phone from the iPhone App Store or Google Play.
  2. Insert your bank account and credit card info on the BIPS website, as well as the number of the phone that you have installed MobilePay on
  3. Go into the application, go to “Send” and send any amount to BIPS’s phone number (36965694)
  4. You should receive the equivalent in BTC credited to your BIPS account very soon

BIPS has not seen nearly as much attention in the Bitcoin merchant processing space as its major competitors BitPay and Coinbase, but it has been seeing considerable growth particularly in Denmark, where the service’s co-funder Kris Henriksen is located. The service is used by a number of businesses in Denmark, notably the popular online dating site, and also recently announced its latest customer: Flattr. Flattr is a service based in Sweden founded by Peter Sunde (best known for his work in The Pirate Bay) and Linus Olsson that allows users to easily donate small amounts to content creators on the internet. Users set an amount that they want to donate every month, and then while browsing they can click a button to tip individual creators. The monthly donation is evenly split among everyone tipped at the end of the month.

Payment processing with BIPS is free if merchants wish to cash out directly in bitcoin, but charges a 2.5 fee in the form of a lower exchange rate for converting the bitcoins to a cash deposit in one’s bank account. Merchants can opt to pass the fee on to customers (default), or absorb the fee themselves. BIPS also offers a number of additional features for a small fee, including MtGox integration and secure cold storage. BIPS can also be used to buy and sell bitcoins, and with this integration of DanskeBank’s services using BIPS to buy bitcoins just got considerably easier for Danish users. Denmark remains one of the countries where Bitcoin is less widespread, with Google Trends showing a score of 49 compared to an average of 50-70 across Europe, but thanks to the efforts of BIPS (and, to a lesser extent, Lasse Birk Olesen’s Bitcoin Nordic) the community is growing. Hopefully we will continue seeing more interest from Denmark in the months to come.