Back in April this year BittyBot was invited to a special event hosted by Coinfloor – the world’s most liquid bitcoin to Sterling exchange. The invitation read, “we have been working hard on our new technology and this is a unique opportunity for you to preview the first of our new developments”.
It sounded intriguing because Coinfloor has always been at the forefront of bitcoin exchange innovation with many industry firsts including 100% cold storage and multi-signature wallets. What could this new technology be? I knew this was an event I just had to attend!
The event was in London’s Soho, and on arrival at the venue I immediately recognised a few familiar faces from the London bitcoin meetup scene. These guys were bitcoin traders who sell peer-to-peer through marketplaces such as LocalBitcoins and BitBargain.
As more and more attendees arrived and we started chatting amongst ourselves I realised I was surrounded by some of the most prolific bitcoin brokers in the country. I also realised that I already knew most of them by their trading names. These were the familiar faces I’d seen listed on BittyBot time and time again.
I quizzed Coinfloor CEO, Mark Lamb, on how he was able to bring together such a diverse group of bitcoin sellers all in one place, many having traveled from outside of London to attend. This was definitely going to be a unique event.
Mark started his presentation with a bit of history. Comparing the current bitcoin market to the old “wild west” days of Wall Street. When stockbrokers would meet in public in the street and auction stocks to the highest bidder, a bit like the Satoshi Square events we see today.
In those days there was no regulation and the stock market was rife with fraudsters. That changed on May 17, 1792 when 24 of the most astute stockbrokers agreed a framework of fairness and self-regulation by signing the Buttonwood Agreement.
The Buttonwood Agreement, named after the tree where the stockbrokers would gather gave formation to the New York Stock & Exchange Board, which later became known as the New York Stock Exchange.
Mark went on to discuss the concerns of both brokers and investors in today’s bitcoin market.
Trust is extremely important; investors want to be sure they are dealing with a professional broker in a safe environment. They want to get their bitcoins quickly and for a fair price.
It’s easy to forget that trust is a two-way street; brokers have to trust the client is genuine and not a scammer who’s going to reverse payment after the bitcoins have been released.
Brokers have to be constantly on their toes to avoid the latest scams. Any fraudulent transaction will result in a broker’s bank account being immediately shut down.
There also has to be trust in the marketplace, bitcoin has gotten a bad reputation in recent months due to several high-profile hacking attacks and exchange collapses. Both parties need a secure environment in which to transact and hold their bitcoins.
Mark then went on to describe the new technology that Coinfloor was working on: a secure and convenient environment in which investors and brokers could easily trade together.
Coinfloor Market would be built on top of Coinfloor Exchange allowing investors to purchase bitcoins directly from trusted bitcoin brokers, peer to peer.
Bitcoin exchanges can be intimidating for some, having a personal and direct relationship with a professional bitcoin broker can be a lot simpler and more reassuring. It also has the advantage of allowing them to make Faster Payments direct to the broker, avoiding international bank transfers and the extra fees associated with using an exchange.
Brokers can also be confident that the client is genuine and trustworthy since they will have already passed Coinfloor’s ID and address verification checks. The bitcoins are also securely held in escrow during the transaction and only released once the broker confirms that payment has been received.
Coinfloor Market is built on the foundations of Coinfloor Exchange so everyone automatically benefits from the security of having their bitcoins held in 100% cold storage using multi-signature wallets.
This also allows brokers to source their bitcoins directly from Coinfloor Exchange – the most liquid bitcoin to sterling exchange in the world, and by doing so eradicating the problem of price volatility. Coinfloor is the first bitcoin platform in the world offering this model.
At the end of the presentation Mark invited all the bitcoin brokers in the room to join the Coinfloor Market and be part of bitcoin history by signing a modern day version of the Buttonwood Agreement; the “Coinfloor Bitcoin Broker Agreement”.
The agreement was signed by 21 of the brokers in attendance, showing their commitment to creating a fair and transparent bitcoin marketplace and so furthering the adoption of bitcoin in the UK.
Coinfloor Market is now live and another world first for Coinfloor. If you have a verified Coinfloor account you can sign in and see the list of available bitcoin brokers through which you can purchase bitcoins directly. New customers need to sign up and verify their identity and address first.
Investors can purchase as little as £20 from a Coinfloor Market bitcoin broker and up to a maximum of £10,000. Coinfloor Market broker prices are now listed on BittyBot, you can compare them here.