Founded in April 2014 in Hong Kong with the vision of providing the securest, most innovative and simplest to use cryptocurrency platform, Bitspark (the website is now undergoing maintenance) is a limited private company dedicated to easy-to-use and multi-lingual services aimed at making Bitcoin transfers easier than ever.
Last week, Bitspark announced several major developments, including secured investment funding from fintech investors based in Hong Kong and a partnership with Palo Alto based Bitgo Inc meant to provide the best Bitcoin security, arbitraging in particular ‘multi-sig’ technology.
CCN.com sat down with Bitspark founder George Harrap to discuss the company’s recent developments and it’s future.
Thanks for sitting down with us, George.
My pleasure and thank you.
Tell us what a little bit about Bitspark’s future plans.
The next few months will see Bitspark focus on a few key areas. Firstly, we will be building upon the exchange to enable a number of new features, UI updates, security enhancements and additional currencies. Part of what we have always been going for with the exchange is providing a trustworthy, transparent and full-featured trading experience without parallel- our Multisig reserves secured by Bitgo is a key ingredient in that.
Secondly we are ramping up our remittance business, particularly focusing on B2B where we will be debuting a new product in that area at Innotribe in Singapore next month. Bitspark is more than the exchange, we see the future of Bitcoin (and crypto) adoption coming from people using it to buy stuff and as an enabler for cross border payments like remittances, so building the industry means building these areas and thats what we are doing.
Tell us about the investment funding, in particular the importance of taking on fintech partners?
We are excited to have onboard a number of private investors based here in Hong Kong to best enable us to take Bitspark to the next level. We were lucky enough to find in this round investors who have previous experience in the fintech and legal areas both here in Hong Kong and elsewhere around the world, it’s good to have people onboard who ‘get it’ and can assist us with the decisions we have ahead in 2015.
We will be using the funding to expand our team and grow Bitspark internationally. We have always said being global from day 1 is very important and you will see a number of new updates focused on accessibility in our key markets in APAC.
Fintech is an area a lot of jurisdictions around the world are eager to be involved in and we see Hong Kong as the perfect for that. Asia’s financial hub and ranked #1 for ease of doing business for 15 years running, an easy springboard for access to the China market and elsewhere in SE Asia, Hong Kong is fertile ground for fintech.
How did the relationship with Bitgo come along? How is that beneficial for Bitspark?
Bitgo Inc is one of the pioneers and world leaders in Bitcoin security and we are delighted to be working together to enable world class Multi-sig security on Bitspark. We made contact a few months ago and have been working towards this since then. The integration process was actually quite easy and Bitgo have been supportive all the way and we would implore all Bitcoin companies to ‘go multisig’ this year, its such an important security enhancement that should be part of any business looking to be part of this space. I can rest a little easier each night knowing our Bitcoin reserves are secured with Bitgo.
What can customers do with the pre-paid remittance card in Hong Kong?
Much like any prepaid card, like an Itunes or an Amazon card valued for X amount of dollars, the same is true of our remittance card- currently for the Philippines market. The card is actually an easy way of packaging up a Bitcoin money transfer like we usually do but instead the customer can walk into a store, buy a physical card valued at X amount of Peso and then input the unique code to process on a website or in person at the store.
We are drawing upon our great relationship with partner Rebit.ph and we have been trialling the physical cards here in Hong Kong with a local bricks-and-mortar remittance vendor.
For Bitspark, this is a good way to scale our business. Working with existing vendors with existing customer bases is better for us and a more focused approach than doing it all ourselves.
Anything else you feel is important for now?
Over the next few weeks and months we will be unveiling a number of new innovations and services and we greatly appreciate feedback from the community on what they’d like to see and their thoughts on trading at Bitspark. Thanks!
Thank you, George!