Bitcoin exchange BitX has introduced a mobile app that will help consumers in the emerging markets use the digital currency. The app, which will be available for iOS and Android platforms, enables users to purchase and sell bitcoin.
Although BitX is based in Singapore, but most of the development is carried out in Cape Town, South Africa. The company owns bitcoin exchanges in South Africa, Malaysia, Kenya and Namibia. BitX is the largest digital currency exchange in Africa. In 2013, the firm was bought by Switchless, a South African company that develops cryptocurrency software for private wealth managers, banks and brokerage firms.
Besdies, the apps allow users to authenticate their accounts through their mobile phones, including using the built-in camera to create copies of documents for know-your-customer (KYC) procedures. KYC-verified Android users can also use the app to buy and sell bitcoins, while users of iOS devices can utilize Apple’s Touch ID to authenticate transactions.
Product Advisor Simon Dingle commented: “At BitX we build bitcoin products for global use, but our company’s presence in emerging markets in particular has shown us first-hand what mobile will become. In these countries phones are already the de facto primary computing devices. While the rest of the world is focused on ‘digital natives’, the developing world is mobile native.”
Dingle noted that while creating the app, the company intended to make it simple for use. “When designing our apps we chose to disregard prior art in the bitcoin space and come up with new paradigms,” he said.
BitX has made a focus on design. The balance of the new app is displayed in a center in a large circle, described as a “metaphor for a coin”. It also shows the current exchange rate in the currency you have chosen and offers a selection of other options. Balances, which are below 0.01 BTC are displayed as ‘bits’.
In order to send or receive the virtual money, it is possible to use either QR codes, or send-by-email option, which sends the amount to BitX customers via email. The app is also equipped with two-factor authentication to provide users protection.
BitX CEO Marcus Swanepoel said: “We believe there is very strong future for cryptocurrencies to disrupt financial markets and financial systems in a very positive way.”
“As a long term hypothesis, we believe that cryptocurrencies in emerging markets are going to play a really big role because of inefficient financial systems.”
He also added the new app complies with the company’s strategy. “This is especially true for emerging markets where we know that the future is mobile. We don’t think mobile first, we think mobile only.”