E-Coin, a virtual debit card and multi-signature wallet, has raised $63,136 (USD) in a $384,538 (USD) online funding campaign, marking progress in its mission to fill the gap between bitcoin and fiat currency. The E-coin debit card funded with bitcoin can be accepted where most major credit cards are accepted.
The E-Coin funding campaign on www.bnktothefuture.com has already raised 16% of an upwardly-revised goal with 21 days left as of Oct. 14, 2015, reflecting a strong response to E-Coin’s efforts to integrate bitcoin with fiat currencies.
E-Coin launched in 2014 and has already shipped around 10,000 plastic and virtual cards worldwide.
E-coin users can perform all the normal transactions that ordinary debit card holders are able to do such as load funds, withdraw money and shop online. Its most innovative feature is merging traditional financial architecture with digital currency. E-Coin allows bitcoin users to spend bitcoin at many websites that do not yet accept it. In addition, it can also be used for third-party services such as PayPal and ApplePay. The bitcoins are secured by BitGo with multi-signature security, and they are insured by XL Group.
“E-Coin has continued to grow at a rate second to none,” Dmitry Lazarichev, director, and Tim Frost, vice president of marketing and business development, told CCN.com. “We now have over 40,000 user signups. We have about 10,000 debit cards on the market with about $1 million in monthly volume.
The E-Coin platform allows free and immediate conversion between bitcoin and three fiat currencies, the U.S. dollar, the U.K. pound and the euro.
The funding campaign on the online investment platform bnktothefuture.com has surpassed the original goal seeking $284,171 USD (£250,000).
“We are experiencing unprecedented growth in the transaction volume, and, therefore we need to increase our working capital,” Lazarichev and Frost said. Sixty percent of the funding will be allocated to working capital. “We are also finalizing our mobile app, and it requires some investments as well as adding several new interesting features, which cannot be disclosed at this stage.” The rest of the funds will be spent on marketing.
E-Coin will have 24/7 customer support and is currently hiring people as the number of tickets grows.
The E-Coin card has withdrawal and spending limits, but users can increase these limits by submitting verification documents.
E-Coin’s valuation is based on cash flow forecasts that take into account market realities, Lazarichev and Frost said.
Also read: Bitcoin funded debit cards announced by licensed bitcoin exchange Bit-X
Lazarichev and Frost noted that a virtual currency debit card has proven difficult to date because the bitcoin industry is still young. Virtual currency’s first step was the evolution of exchanges and merchants accepting bitcoin wallets. “The debit card is a next step of the industry organic growth and development,” they said.
The release of the E-Coin card culminated in integrating cryptocurrency architecture with fiat architecture. “Certainly there are differences, but we managed to merge them to some extent. Fiat currencies are more difficult for cross-border payments and easier for everyday spending and crypto ones have opposite characteristics. Thus, both architectures supplement each other and make the process of managing funds easier and more efficient.”
Bnktothefuture has funded campaigns for UnoCoin, Factom, ShapeShift, and BitPesa.
E-Coin’s three founders bring a wealth of financial and software experience.
Lazarichev brings experience in finance, company valuation and consulting. He worked with Solid, managing valuations and leading the company into consulting services.
Pavel Matveev brings experience in software and banking, having worked as a developer and solutions architect. He led teams for Russian and other international IT companies. He has worked for Barclays Capital, Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas, and Credit Suisse.
Georgy Sokolov brings sales and business development experience. He has also co-founded an accounting software company in Russia.
Images from Shutterstock and E-Coin.