As Bitcoin starts to gain traction as an alternative payment method, the role of a middleman to facilitate the purchase of goods and services across the world bought with the virtual currency becomes more important.
GoCoin, a US- and Singapore-based company, is entering this space as it seeks to directly compete with BitPay as a Bitcoin payment processing service for merchants. The company is currently in private beta with a pool of private merchants, and has plans to launch officially later this month.
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To kick off its business, GoCoin has raised a seed round of over $550,000 and will focus initially on countries in Asia and South America, “where the challenges of accepting credit cards and purchasing goods and services online between even neighboring countries can be especially difficult.”
In terms of industries, the company will zoom in on helping to facilitate Bitcoin payments for e-commerce, digital content and interactive gaming first.
Co-founder Steve Beauregard says that GoCoin is aimed at helping merchants with complex back-end requirements easily incorporate Bitcoin into their various payment methods — without fearing that their internal systems will be compromised.
As digital currency becomes more pervasive, it’s imperative that software developers have advanced tools to fully integrate a scalable digital currency payment system across the globe. Merchants should be able to accept not just Bitcoin, but also other digital currencies as those emerge.
More importantly, perhaps, is what GoCoin’s board chairman Brock Pierce points out: that as Bitcoin becomes more widely accepted, it will help to simplify cross-border commercial transactions. As shoppers become more global, varying exchange rates become a challenge to manage, and Bitcoin is an easy way to speak a common currency language. Whether or not the virtual currency can gain more traction than what it has now though — especially as its volatility is a cause for concern — is what GoCoin is betting on.
Pierce is confident though. “The future of currency is digital and the old payment systems used today were not designed for the Internet,” he says.
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