An Australian bitcoin derivatives platform has seen $13.5m in trades since founder Joe Lee launched it in May, using $150,000 of his personal savings.
BTC.sx has recently expanded, with chief operating officer George Samman the latest addition to its Sydney team. As an experienced trader, Samman understands derivatives and how bitcoin investors could use BTC.sx to hedge their bets on the volatile electronic currency. Samman told CoinDesk:
“BTC.sx brings the world [its] first bitcoin derivative. This is done in an intuitive FX-style trading platform that enables users to profit from a rising or falling bitcoin price.”
FOREX (or FX for short) is an abbreviation of foreign exchange: a 24-hour market that banks and investors use to trade in and out of fiat currency pairs.
“With our service, hedging your bitcoin positions is now possible. Our platform is designed to interface entirely in bitcoin with no need for a USD/fiat balance to enter both long or short positions,” said Samman.
Joe Lee, the founder of BTC.sx, has a background in finance, working for institutions including Barclays and Macquarie Bank. Like other investors in the bitcoin economy, it’s clear that Lee anticipated the market’s need for bitcoin derivatives, and put his money into it. The platform now has over 2,000 registered traders.
Other companies have their sights set on the virtual currency trading market. New York-based Coinsetter has launched its private beta to build a high-speed trading exchange. And Singapore-based itBit has raised $3.5m in venture capital to use NASDAQ’s exchange technology to facilitate bitcoin trades.
Samman comments that bitcoin is an excellent investment alternative to both government-backed currencies and the stock market. He explained:
“Electronic currency is definitely the next evolution in the history of money. Bitcoin offers people a diversification out of currencies that are being de-valued by money printing, and a stock market where scandal after scandal doesn’t even make the news of the day.”
He continues: “What happened in Cyprus is a great example of why bitcoin’s future will continue to shine. I mean, would you rather hold the currency of a government that’s willing to take it away or devalue it, or one in which market participants decide its value?”
BTC.sx is hoping to expand its operations to offer more derivatives in the future, though Samman did not want to speculate on exactly what the company plans to deliver to investors.