Coinapult's new service, Locks, frees your bitcoins from price volatility by linking them to tangible assets, such as gold. Customers who lock $1,000 worth of bitcoins today will be able to cash out $1,000 worth of bitcoins today, tomorrow, next year, whenever they like - regardless of the price of bitcoin. Coinapult is FirstMark's only Bitcoin company so far, having already backed Pinterest, Luminosity, Shopify and Riot Games.
Funds raised came from two separate rounds. In addition to FirstMark, Roger Ver, Erik Voorhees and Barry Silbert's Bitcoin Opportunity Corporation contributed to a $775K total raised by the Panamanian startup.
Coinapult already provides web wallets and merchant integration services. With Locks, the company hopes to compete against credit cards in the developing world. On their site, Coinapult provides the following use case for Locks:
“Jorge owns a wine vineyard in Argentina. He sells his wine internationally for Bitcoin[sic] and his employees are happy to receive their pay in Bitcoin. By immediately Locking his revenue, Jorge can easily plan ahead to ensure he will be able to pay his employees at the end of the each month, no matter what happens to the Bitcoin price.”
Accompanying the funding news was Coinapult's announcement that it had entered a partnership with the online payment platform Payza. Customer's in 190 countries will have access to buy bitcoins and Coinapult's Locks feature without any changes to their Payza accounts.
Coinapult: Let the Bit Drop
Coinapult announced in August its plans to send every Dominican $10 worth of bitcoins. Let the Bit Drop, an event taking place March 14, 2015, will use SMS to deliver bitcoins, whatever that amount may be, to every Dominican pocket. With access to Locks, Dominicans may be the first country to officially adopt Bitcoin and not have to worry about price volatility or unaccountable startups with MIA CEOs.
For US customers, don’t expect direct access to Locks anytime soon. In an email to Upstart Business Journal, Chief Operating Officer Justin Bincoe explains Coinapult’s strategy:
“Our goal is to maximize access to bitcoin and our services but where there is uncertainty, we've had to make the difficult decision to work on getting more clarity before launching our services into the U.S.”
No word on whether US consumers can access Locks through the Coinapult version of the Electrum Wallet. Considering that US agencies still contradict one another on Bitcoin’s definition Locks likely won't land in the US anytime soon. Combined with the crippling guidance suggested by New York State Department of Financial Services and Ben Lawsky we should assume that future companies will continue looking outside of the US for opportunity.
A co-founder in April 2012, Erik Voorhees served as Coinapult CEO until stepping down in January. Since then, co-founder Ira Miller has been the CEO and has previously worked with BitInstant and is also the founder/developer of BitMunchies.
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