A NORTHEAST start-up is making waves in the financial industry with its payments technology that allows people to pay in Bitcoin – but users may never know they are.
Bottle Pay offers people a way to pay for goods with Bitcoin cryptocurrency through their social media accounts, eliminating the need for banking, third parties, and expensive transaction fees associated with traditional banking services.
Bitcoin is a virtual currency that works without the need for a central bank. Coins are sent over the Internet, direct person-to-person, and are held in a digital wallet.
Bottle Pay founder Pete Cheyne believes his app will help encourage consumer use of Bitcoin as it is specifically designed for digital natives who “know each other by avatar, not bank details.”
The app, which announced on Tuesday that it had secured £ 11million in a seed funding round, allows people to make international payments in both cryptocurrency and currencies trustees in real time.
By sending money through Twitter, Reddit, and Discord, users can also make profitable micro-payments.
Mr. Cheyne said, “It is not economical for businesses to use micro-transitions due to the financial system in place. If you make a payment, it goes through three middlemen and they all want their discount, which makes the fee expensive.
“But we’re not using this system because we’ve built our own infrastructure that works for a micro-economy and gives businesses new ways to monetize.”
Bitcoin transactions have traditionally been slow due to the distributed nature of the blockchain, the software it is built on, but the Bottle Pay team leveraged Lightning Network technology to create a second layer of software and enable real-time transactions.
Bosses say it will help evolve the product as well.
Launched just a few weeks ago on February 10, Mr Cheyne says the numbers are solid for the amount of money already transferred through the app.
He said: “The launch has been great. Many people realize the value of Bitcoin.
“There is Bitcoin the trump card and Bitcoin the network [the software it uses]. There is a great variation.
“The network is distributed and without trust, no one is using it for personal gain.
“We are really passionate about Bitcoin and it’s up to us to show people its usefulness and possibilities.”
Although every transaction is completed in Bitcoin, users may never know because the app includes a setting to automatically convert Bitcoin to fiat currencies.
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This means that users can avoid the volatility of Bitcoin, as its value is determined by the market.
The app is currently available in the UK and the team plans to expand to Europe and the US.
Mr Cheyne added: “We make sure that the currencies speak the same language.”
It comes as Elon Musk’s Tesla made headlines buying $ 1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin with the intention of starting to accept it as payment in the future.
However, the risky move saw the automaker’s stock slip and Mr. Musk lost his title as the richest person in the world.
A study by the firm Piplsay found that 46% of those polled think brands like Apple, Amazon and Tesco should start accepting cryptocurrency, with 28% disagreeing and 26% saying they are not sure.
When asked what worries them about cryptocurrency, 29% of people said they feared hacking or fraudulent activity, while 19% said volatility. About 26 percent said both the absence of regulations and laws and a lack of knowledge about the system.
While cryptocurrency was once known for its anonymous nature, which makes it a tool for criminals, Mr. Cheyne says technology has advanced and users can be identified, adding, “This is all legitimate and legitimate. . Every transaction can be tracked and is transparent.
“Elon Musk investing in Bitcoin really helps legitimize cryptocurrency and push it into the mainstream.”
Mr. Cheyne also argued that while there are other cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is the strongest, as others are controlled by a company or foundation.
Bottle Pay is made up of 30 employees across ten time zones, eight of which are based in the Northeast.