Bitcoin Shop, Inc. (BTCS) recently completed several steps in its goal of establishing a universal digital currency ecosystem. The Arlington, Va.-based company anticipates having its new transaction verification services facility online in one to four weeks, according to CEO Charles Allen. The company has acquired additional servers to bring its total hashing power, once online, to almost 1 Petahash. BTCS’ ecosystem includes mining, a digital wallet, payment processing, financial services, an ATM network and e-commerce.
The company also recently secured an 83,000-square-foot mining facility in North Carolina. With minimal improvements, the new facility is anticipated to handle over 10 megawatts (MW) of power and can potentially house up to 40,000 TH/s of mining hardware. The company's transaction verification services business, or digital currency mining, entails running specialized servers that solve a set of prescribed calculations to add a block of verified information to the blockchain and thereby confirm bitcoin transactions. When BTCS adds a block to the blockchain, it issues new bitcoins.
“We’re entering the mining space at the optimal time to take advantage of market dynamics, and have negotiated the key components of mining into an economic model that is extremely competitive on a global basis,” said Charles Kiser, executive vice president of corporate development, to CCN.
“The facility could support additional activities (beyond mining), and we are evaluating options that align with our strategy”
A suite of bitcoin services
BTCS recently launched a new website to demonstrate its planned suite of services, which includes a new multi-signature secure bitcoin storage solution as a next step in establishing its universal ecosystem.
BTCS has already invested in and partnered with four digital currency companies including: GoCoin, a payment processor; Gem, provider of a multi-sig security platform; Expresscoin, digital currency retailer; and Coin Outlet, a bitcoin ATM manufacturer.
“As the (digital currency) infrastructure starts to be built out it, will be better understood and more relevant to the everyday consumer,” Kiser said.
“Digital currencies have been somewhat misunderstood and suffered from some initial bad actors that impacted the general public’s perception of bitcoin.”
Bitcoin ATM expansion
BTCS plans to expand its bitcoin ATM network, and in conjunction with its ATMs, will launch an e-commerce business. The company currently offers bitcoin ATMs under the name BitXatm and Coin Outlet. BTCS estimated that at the end of 2014, there were about 350 bitcoin ATMs worldwide. BTCS’ e-commerce will utilize an “intelligent shopping engine” to find consumers and offer products from 250 retailers. BTCS believes cryptocurrency has unique benefits in the nascent e-commerce sector. Bitcoin enables fast and secure payments, low transaction fees, no chargebacks and an overall better purchasing experience.
“We’re planning to build a universal platform for consumers to access the digital ecosystem. E-commerce is one of the starting points and will be an on-ramp for users to access many of the products and services we integrate.”
BTCS recognizes there is a challenge in making consumers aware of its online shopping engine. “Growing customer acquisition requires significant investment, and we haven’t reached that phase of our strategy yet,” Kiser said. “As bitcoin usage grows we plan to be prepared to support many types of customers and payment options.”
New frontier: e-commmerce
The company plans to partner with affiliate retailer e-commerce programs. “We’ve been successful in partnering with some of the best retailer affiliate programs. We plan to grow the number of retailers.”
Allen filmed a short video tour of its mining facility to help its investors better understand its operations.