Bitcoin Exchange Igot Expands to Over 40 Countries

Jon Southurst
Dec 4, 2014 at 11:03 UTC
Updated Sep 15, 2015 at 12:40 UTC

Australia-based igot has announced the next phase of its bid to be the “fastest-growing bitcoin exchange in the world”, opening for business in over 40 countries including the European Union and parts of the Middle East and Africa.

CEO Rick Day told CoinDesk the exchange has “solid banking relationships” in the EU, saying there are now over 100 banking options for users to choose from.

As well as the EU, igot indicated that it has also secured a partnership in Kenya and will launch there in the very near future. Kenyan customers will able to cash out from their igot accounts directly to the country’s M-Pesa mobile payment system.

Customers in all 40 of igot’s serviced countries, Day said, have full access to all exchange features, including the ability to deposit and withdraw from their local banks. The only service not available outside Australia at this point is the popular bill-payment service which accesses the country’s BPAY network.

Attracting customers

In an aggressive drive to attract new customers, the exchange recently dropped its buy price to 0% and its sell commission to 0.5%. Igot already does not charge fees for deposits or withdrawals.

Trade volumes, Day said, have leapt 400% to a daily 1,200 BTC since the new pricing scheme launched, and customer signups are showing a new diversity among bitcoin users.

“A lot of older people and female customers have started signing up. This shows that bitcoin is going mainstream for sure.”

Rapid growth

Igot’s expansion has been swift, given that other multinational exchanges like BitX have cited regulatory compliance and banking procedures in different jurisdictions as a speed hump.

Yet, it has still been a time-consuming process, Day said, adding:

“We spent months working on this. We’ve secured solid banking relationships, as well has worked with the right partners in each jurisdiction to make sure we’re completely compliant in those regions.”

Igot is busy redesigning its home page to reflect the new international flavor, which is set to go live next week.

Chasing remittances

The global remittance market has long been one of igot’s main targets, and it is for this reason the company is also targeting the Middle East, with its large populations of foreign workers who are mainly drawn from the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.

The firm launched the United Arab Emirates’ first bitcoin exchange in Dubai in August and plans to expand even further into countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

A “full-fledged remittance strategy” will launch soon with a bitcoin backend, allowing transfers a sub-1% fee to bank accounts within igot’s existing markets.

The firm’s largest markets at this stage remain its home nation of Australia and India, where it has a subsidiary office. Liquidity in India, Day said, has “improved dramatically” in the past couple of months.

UAE to India is the strongest remittance channel, though the UAE market overall sees a higher volume of bitcoin sell orders than buys.

Flags image via Shutterstock