Buttercoin has just emailed everyone that signed up for their early access list!
If you are interesting in pushing me further up the queue to get more information on Buttercoin to the masses faster, please follow this link and register for early access.
Who Is Buttercoin?
Buttercoin was founded by Cedric Dahl and Bennet Hoffman, formerly of CoinHarvest, back in 2013 and received roughly $1.6 million in funding from various sources including Google Ventures and Y Combinator.
Dahl and Hoffman are targeting the International Remittance market, a $550 billion USD market that is currently run by “cartels” such as Western Union which charge up to 10% for a transfer. Buttercoin seeks to rebuild this crucial international infrastructure using Bitcoin as the centerpiece instead of the current hodgepodge mesh of bank transfer systems riddled with middlemen and governments which is currently used.
As I mentioned back in 2013, both domestic and international remittances highlight Bitcoin’s superiority to the USD as a medium of exchange. I posited that we may soon find ourselves in a world where Bitcoin and other cryptocoins are the best “bank account” that someone in a third world country could conceivably own or have steady access to. A Bitcoin wallet in a fiat denominated world is useless without trusted exchanges though, and that’s where Buttercoin comes in.
How is Buttercoin Launching?
Buttercoin’s plan, as revealed to TechCrunch in an interview last August, is to partner with existing local money transfer businesses in order to guarantee regulatory compliance within the country. However, they plan to keep these local partners’ hands out of the pot, so to say, by only giving them 50% of generated fees. Buttercoin is merely using these existing local money transfer businesses, or third party payment processors as China likes to call them, for regulatory compliance. The hands off partnership offers the established fiat businesses a way to legally tap into the growing Bitcoin economy and in turn allows Buttercoin to bring Bitcoin to that specific country.
What And Where Exactly Is Buttercoin Launching?
It isn’t yet clear what exactly Buttercoin has lined up for the launch. Back in August they informed the press that they planned to open in India by the end of 2014; however, it is likely that the regulatory haze within the Indian government that delayed Unocoin for awhile may have also delayed Buttercoin’s plans in the region.
Astute Bitcoiners may recall that Sunny Ray is involved with both Unocoin and Buttercoin. The connection is simple, Sunny Ray works with BitPay in India and likely knows all the channels (read: existing local money transfer businesses) that will settle Bitcoin with Indian Rupee. Whether or not Buttercoin’s new launch effects Unocoin in any way, remains to be seen.
Buttercoin’s announcement hints that they will be launching their Bitcoin trading platform globally; however, I still sincerely hope that they also have a fully established Bitcoin exchange to announce in a new country.