Cubits Launch Aims to Accelerate Bitcoin Buying in Europe

Nermin Hajdarbegovic
Jan 7, 2015 at 21:55 UTC
Updated Jan 8, 2015 at 13:40 UTC

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Cubits has launched a web application designed to speed up and simplify bitcoin transactions.

Notably, the London-based cryptocurrency startup allows customers to buy bitcoin in minutes, making it one of the fastest digital currency platforms in Europe, according to the company.

“We want to speed up the process of getting bitcoin and making online payments fair and accessible, especially for merchants and charities that could really benefit from lower fees,” said Andreas Lehrbaum, co-founder of Cubits and the co-founding chairman of Bitcoin Austria.

Focus on speed and accessibility

The first products based on the new platform are a consumer-focused wallet and a merchant payment system called Cubits Pay, which have been in beta since October last year.

The company said both products were designed with ease of use in mind, so the user interface is geared toward mainstream users as much as early adopters.

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For security, Cubits indicated that customers’ bitcoin funds are stored in offline cold storage and all transactions require multi-signature authentication.

Although much of the focus is on Europe, Cubits supports instant payment options and bank transfers in 17 different currencies, including euros, US dollars, British pounds, Turkish lira, Polish zloty and others. Support for additional currencies is also on the way.

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Users can choose one of three different instant payment providers – SOFORT Banking, OnlineBankTransfers(OBT) or OKPay to buy bitcoin.

Julian Mautner, co-founder of Cubits, explained the process:

“The user specifies an amount of fiat to be converted to bitcoin and finalizes the purchase via the selected payment provider. The payment provider interfaces directly with the users’ online banking account and notifies Cubits about the payment. Bitcoin will then be credited to the user immediately. We have partnered with several banking institutions who support us with both SEPA and international payments.”

If the account is already funded, the exchange is instantaneous.

Free currency conversion for merchants

Cubits Pay was designed for merchants with a global audience, the firm says, allowing them to leverage bitcoin’s low transaction fees and offer an alternative to credit cards and other established payment options. The service offers free conversion into any supported fiat currency.

The platform features a number of plugins for a wide range of popular shopping cart systems, as well as free customer support. Tailored solutions for retailers interested in incorporating bitcoin payments are also available.

Cubits is privately funded by the company’s management team, David Julian Mautner, Tim Rehder, Andreas Lehrbaum and Benedikt Manigold, who have prior experience in IT, finance and startup ventures.

The team says it is committed to creating a “strong and secure bitcoin marketplace” and intends to use blockchain technology to take part in the transformation of international payments

The company has offices in London and Berlin. Cubits is registered in the UK as an IT payment service provider.

European exchanges race to cut transaction time

Speed is becoming a significant differentiator in the industry, especially in the European market. A number of exchanges have already introduced fast payment options, allowing customers to buy bitcoins faster than ever.

Last month Swedish bitcoin exchange Safello partnered with an unnamed British bank to offer faster transfers to UK-based customers. London-based exchange Yacuna also announced a new service, allowing UK customers to use SOFORT Banking for GBP deposits to its trading platform.

The only downside of using fast or near-instant services like SOFORT is the relatively high cost, as withdrawals and transfer fees tend to come at a premium. For example, Yacuna users can expect to pay a 4.90% fee on SOFORT deposits, along with a 3.00 GBP withdrawal fee.

Euros image via Shutterstock

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