Cryptocurrencies are about to go mainstream, it seems. A new exchange is being launched this week that will aim to give high street currency exchanges access to the more esoteric market of so-called ‘cryptos’ like Bitcoin and Ethereum. BitExchange is a new platform that will, it hopes, shortly be bringing currency exchanges the scope to buy and sell cryptocurrencies against other currencies.
The company is already in talks with a number of major foreign exchange networks across Europe. Founder Tudor Vesa says this will be the next logical step in the cryptocurrency revolution.
“By making it easy for the non-technical public to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, we expect to enhance their liquidity and bring them into the mainstream. At the same time it’s an incredibly lucrative new market for forex retailers. We’re making it easy for them to enter it.”
Currently the total value of cryptocurrencies in circulation globally is estimated at $150 billion, with daily value at $5 billion. Some $325 billion in cryptocurrencies occurred in the first half of the year. And the business is not dominated by Bitcoin, with other currencies like Ethereum and iCoin now on the market. Some analysts reckon we could be looking at total transactions of more than $1 trillion by the end of the year.
BitExchange, which is a joint venture between Romania’s BitLocation SRL and Rocky Mountain Ayre Inc in the United States, will be providing exchanges with real-time market values. It also removes the need for them to hold their own inventory. The service will initially be working with foreign exchange bureaux, for example in airports and on high streets. It may also be possible for normal retail stores to start selling cryptocurrencies to customers.
“Our solution opens a new market for clients of exchanges and stores, turning them into cryptocurrency locations by giving them the option of featuring crypto coins,” explains Vesa. “The next big stage for the crypto world is to make virtual currency available everywhere, and this is what our solution is designed to deliver.”
Should BitLocation be successful, it will be another major step forwards in the broader acceptance of Bitcoin within the global forex market. It will mean consumers can move trades in and out of cryptocurrencies and between other currencies far more easily. Travellers in particular would be able to tap into their cryptocurrency reserves to buy local currency.