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South African-based bitcoin exchange BitX has launched a revamped version of its popular site. By providing a faster and more efficient platform for experienced traders, and a cleaner, friendlier experience for new users, the startup is hoping to further drive bitcoin adoption.
BitX currently operates in some key emerging markets including South Africa, Kenya, Indonesia, Singapore and more. It’s also been spearheading the move to bring bitcoin to over 30 000 online stores in South Africa through the popular local online payment service, PayFast.
In August last year, the startup secured a round of seed funding of over US$800 000 (nearly R9-million) from a group of international investors from between London and Palto Alto. BitX claims to be the longest running bitcoin exchanges in operation.
Simon Dingle, the head of product at BitX, notes that BitX has been implementing various features and products to increase bitcoin adoption:
Bitcoin can still be quite intimidating for a lot of people who are interested in what the currency has to offer, but are worried about losing money to volatility in exchange rates. So one thing we’ve done is create a platform that instantly converts bitcoin to other currencies for merchants who want to accept bitcoin without being exposed to the risk associated with holding it.
BitX has been seeing rapid growth in new users who want to do more with bitcoin, like sending money overseas, paying for online purchases or just learn more about it. “Globally we are also starting to see more institutional interest in bitcoin trading and our updated interface is more in line with what institutional traders are used to,” he adds.
The company has also tried to expand its user base by launching a bitcoin wallet app for iOS and Android a few months ago. With an emphasis on being mobile-first, it’s looking to drive the digital currency’s adoption in select emerging markets. “We believe that the future of money is in smartphones and have made mobile a focus in our product development.”