Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post by Emily Joyce of Fueled. Fueled is a digital product design and development incubator based in New York, Chicago and London.
Emerging from the spectral edge of online financial markets comes Bitcoin, a crypto-currency that uses a peer-to-peer (P2P) network to process a growing amount of online financial transactions. A self-regulated industry, the flow of Bitcoins between payer and payee enjoys pseudo-anonymity, facilitating black-market dealings such as illicit drugs and online gambling. However, with greater media and investor attention, the demographics of the industry are changing fast.
Enter Coinsetter, a high-performance, U.S.-based leveraged trading platform for Bitcoin that raised $500K this past April from Tribeca Venture Partners and SecondMarket founder and CEO Barry Silbert. Based in New York City’s Fueled Collective, this startup is working to become Wall Street’s professional connection to Bitcoin; its objective is nothing short of legitimizing the Bitcoin industry in the process.
“Right now people can buy and sell Bitcoins but there isn’t a platform out there that gives people the comfort to actively trade millions of dollars on it,” said company CEO and founder Jaron Lukasiewicz. “Coinsetter is entering the market as a platform that brings the reliability needed to sustain high-volume, high-performance trading.”
This nascent digital currency has received a lot of flak from the media, citing Bitcoin’s high volatility and the omnipresent threat of hackers. Its novelty and lack of structure directly contribute to its highly skittish valuations. As angel investor Joshua Seims recently wrote: “In 10 years, Bitcoins will either be worth nothing or a lot more than they are now — there is no middle ground.”
Concerning the safety of the platform, Lukasiewicz noted that, “No company is immune to hacking. It’s a very high priority that we focus on every day.” Coinsetter is achieving that, in part, by hiring outside firms to do comprehensive security audits of the platform as well as consulting with highly regarded Bitcoin security companies. Additionally, by continually pressure-testing the platform, Coinsetter develops leading-edge security features that assure the security of users’ Bitcoins.
In comparison to other platforms in this space, Coinsetter brings capabilities not currently available such as shorting and margin trading. These and other services will fill voids and provide market structure needed for the long-term success of the currency.
What further distinguishes Coinsetter is the company’s aggressive forward thinking. While there are other Bitcoin exchange platforms being built, Coinsetter will aggregate all of these exchanges, thus providing the most stability. Think: the Lloyd’s of London of the Bitcoin market.
Founder Lukasiewicz foresees Bitcoin ATMs and apps that accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. He sees Coinsetter at the center of this revolution, facilitating the interchange between Bitcoins and dollars. “We envision a very large company that provides multiple Wall Street-related services within Bitcoin.”
For now, Coinsetter is focused on its upcoming July launch, rolling out multiple high-demand products over the course of this year. With Bitcoin gaining wider acceptance as a form of payment, Coinsetter will yield a significant advantage in what will most certainly be a crowded field.
Will Bitcoin ever truly go mainstream? We ask the experts.
Image: George Frey/Stringer/Getty Images
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