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Trucoin Opens MasterCard, Visa Bitcoin Buying Services in US

(@pete_rizzo_) | Published on July 16, 2014 at 20:30 BST

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Bitcoin brokerage provider Trucoin has announced the introduction of its first service offerings to customers in Florida, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Carolina and Texas.

Consumers in these eight US states can now receive instant access to the platform, which boasts social login integration for Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ as well as previously advertised MasterCard and Visa payment options.

Speaking to CoinDesk, Trucoin president and cofounder Chris Brunner, suggested that company officials have been seeking to provide services to the US market for roughly three years, but that legal compliance requirements were a consistent roadblock.

However, Brunner indicated that Trucoin is now putting this challenge behind it with the goal of serving the US market more broadly, stating:

"We made the decision early on to do everything in a legal and compliant way and that's what we've done. [...] We've partnered with one licensed money transmitter and we operate as a delegate of those money transmitters. We will be adding 25 states in the next two months."

Trucoin, backed by licensed money transmitters money service business specialists National Check and Currency and Presto Financial Services, launched in April with the goal of becoming "the fastest way to buy bitcoin in the world".

The former BitcoinDeals.com founder suggested this backing is key to separating its services in the market, as the brokerage service meets not only the federal registration requirement for money service businesses (MSBs), but the state-specific licensing requirements in the eight states it now serves.

The formal launch follows an uptick in bitcoin buying services in the US market. For example, California-based expresscoin recently launched with a focus on unbanked consumers.

Ease of use

Though compliance has been Trucoin's major concern to date, Brunner indicated that the company is seeking to offer more to consumers by releasing a consistently reliable avenue to bitcoin buying. Enabling this convenience is Trucoin's decision to offer credit cards as a payment option.

Brunner characterized the decision as one that would better position Trucoin to cater to the "average joe" bitcoin user, stating:

"We've put a great deal of effort into putting in place a fraud mitigation system that allows us to accept debit and credit cards, so for new customers it takes less than two minutes to set up. There's no waiting for a human to manually review your account in almost every case, and once you're a customer you're able to make purchases in seconds, as many times as you want."

Brunner added that most people in its target states would be able to access the service promptly.

Upcoming announcements

The official launch comes roughly one month after Trucoin opened its buying service to an invitation-only private beta and before the service aims to increase its total to 33 states.

Trucoin VP of marketing and communication Brent James, suggested the company doesn't have a firm date for the launch, and that it won't issue a date until it is confident it can follow through on its promises.

James said:

"That's another reason you'll hear us use the term beta, we want to tread lightly and do things in what we feel is the right way, in a prudent way."

Trucoin hopes that its commitment to product will in turn increase its profile among buyers, as it will primarily seek to promote itself through word-of-mouth referrals.

Reddit community weighs in

Trucoin's launch also generated significant attention on reddit, with users seeking to learn more about the validity of the company and its services. There, the company received a notable vouch of support from Bitcoin Foundation chief scientist Gavin Andresen.

Some reddit users, however, advocated for an alternative to social network login, which requires users to part with this data. Trucoin said that social login has been mandated as it is the fastest way for the company to maintain know your customer (KYC) compliance.

Company representatives also provided hints at what users can expect from the service in the coming months, including the ability for users to pay off credit card balances in BTC.

The company also engaged with reddit users prior to today's launch, where it revealed it purchases its bitcoin from exchanges and will retain some customer data for seven years in accordance with US law.

Global goals

Though it is starting its push in the US, Trucoin's ultimate goal is to service 100 countries, providing services in 10 languages through a single bitcoin brokerage system. While a lofty goal, Brunner suggested that with his firm's commitment to compliance, it's "something that's going to be possible in the near future".

"We'll be launching several countries at a time in a way that ensures a quality experience for our customers," Brunner said.

He concluded: "We're really trying to deliver first and talk about it later."

For more information on Trucoin, visit the company's website.

Images via Trucoin

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