Bitcoin exchange partnerships are abound, and one of the key platforms to offer cryptocurrency to fiat exchange is Independent Reserve. I had the swift chance to speak with a member of its technical staff, Jan Przelozny to talk about The Bitcoin Market.
Jay-R Gatdula: Hi, mate. Can you give us a backgrounder on Independent Reserve? How long did it take you to launch it?
Jan Przelozny: Hi Jay, launching Independent Reserve was a long and exciting experience that took over 18 months to come to fruition. From the onset, we aimed to create a product that would be top of the line in terms of security, functionality, and ease of use; I believe we have achieved this. Our well planned and regimented development process allowed us to launch as expected with a product that pleased all members of our core, and extended team, including investors and beta testers. Since our launch 7 months ago, we have received a lot of praise from our customers; this to us is further testament to our efforts.
Personally speaking, the potential to revolutionise the financial industry in terms of both efficiency and financial inclusion (in developing regions) were always my main driving goals pushing me to help Independent Reserve fulfill its ambitions.
JG: What can you say is the best thing about your Independent Reserve in comparison with other crypto-related exchanges?
JP: “Independent Reserve – The Bitcoin Market offers many benefits to customers that are currently not provided by any other digital currency exchange in the world. Our multi-currency order book (currently operating in 3 currencies, but this number will quickly increase over the coming year) allows users to trade in more than one currency while combining all buy/sell orders into a single order book (we use a specialised foreign exchange provider to help facilitate trades between non matching currencies). The advantage of this is that customers are able to trade in the currency of their choice (i.e. USD, AUD, NZD etc.), and whenever there is limited liquidity or depth in their own currency, they can trade with any other offered currency without having to go through any extra steps involved with manual currency conversions… This ensures that people always get the best possible value for their Bitcoin.
Our platform was constructed after the initial influx of new exchanges that entered the market, therefore we were able to learn from and incorporate the best features from the entire global industry… This “late mover advantage” has allowed us to create a product that is easy to use and still includes the features demanded by institutional traders and everyday people alike, while providing a level of security that transcends anything offered by the early adopters.
We are annually audited by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, one of the big 4 global auditing firms. Combined with our world class team that includes some of the most respected members in the Australian finance industry, we ensure our business is financially responsible to the level of any top bank in the world.
JG: Interesting. What do you think Bitcoin needs to gain mainstream adoption?
JP: For bitcoin to fulfill its true potential on a global scale, it will require massive levels of education directed towards the “average person” who has yet to ever even hear the word “bitcoin,” yet alone be able to grasp the benefits of using this truly global digital currency….
In 2014 we saw a lot of price volatility in the Bitcoin economy; an extended plateau of stable value is required to inspire confidence in the use of the currency; I do believe we have nearly arrived there…
As of April 2015, we have seen a relatively steady price hold for a couple of months, with no apparent sign of impending disruption. There has been a steady incline which, coupled with an overall stable price, is the best way to attract investor attention and inspire consumer confidence. Security was certainly a major issue impeding Bitcoin adoption and use in the early days; however, since Mt Gox, we have seen “cold storage” (holding the majority of Bitcoin completely offline) prove itself as a solution to the Mt Gox dilemma. Although, there have been some minor security breaches since Mt Gox (all centered around exchanges that were “early adopters”, unlike Independent Reserve which is a “late mover”), no customers have actually lost any money, due to the fact that all losses were absorbed by the companies which were at fault. All measures indicate that Bitcoin is on the right track towards being recognised as a secure mainstream form of payment within the next 3 years.
JG: Do you think it is duplicitous when Bitcoin supporters who are critical of banks are also critical of alternative cryptocurrency?
JP: I sometimes find it hard to understand the true belief structures of some crypto enthusiasts and their ultra-revolutionary policies are in my honest opinion not the best way to progress society. If Bitcoin truly succeeds on a fully mainstream level, banks will eventually integrate with it, it is inevitable, therefore the two should never be seen as isolated entities.
Successful altcoins can help the industry to diversify and protect itself against price swings; however, I do not believe any new form with supersede Bitcoin; although some might rise to mainstream prominence and be considered globally accepted forms of payment, in particular through payment processors that commonly convert digital currency inputs into fiat currency output.
JG: Any price predictions?
JP: I predict that between May and the end of 2015, we will see a relatively stable price. From 2016 onwards there will be a steady upwards trend.
JG: To cap things off, what can you say to Bitcoin novices out there?
JP: We have a fantastic book launching soon, written by one of our founding partners (Adam Tepper), until then, we have some fantastic videos and some great information throughout our site. If you were to search for “bitcoin education” on a search engine, you would be presented with a vast array of resources. Bitcoin.org provides some great information for people new to Bitcoin, while the Wikipedia page (wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin) provides some more in depth explanations of the core concepts.
Independent Reserve has been working with Rebit.ph to create a payment rail system for the Bitcoin Asia community, in which money is transferred between nations via Bitcoin without customers needing to buy or sell any Bitcoin themselves… Once “sent,” money is transferred automatically to Bitcoin, sent overseas, automatically converted to the local currency, and then is available for use by the recipient. This is a revolutionary concept that will change the way people send money globally.
Over the coming year, we will also be working to include many extra currencies as part of our multi-currency trading platform.
JG: Thank you very much, mate.