Notably, the acquisition is part of a larger play by Blockchain to attract institutional investors to its ZeroBlock property.
RTBTC will power ZeroBlock’s new trading platform, and ZeroBlock’s proprietary news feed will be embedded in the new trading platform, allowing traders first access to market-moving news.
Dan Held, co-founder of ZeroBlock and director of product for Blockchain, told CoinDesk that the move had obvious advantages for both properties as well as consumers.
“ZeroBlock is the only trading platform that has an aggregated news feed. News moves markets, and our platform will empower traders to react faster to relevant breaking information.”
RTBTC has facilitated more than $150m in trading volume across multiple exchanges since its launch last July, and works by allowing traders to link their exchange accounts to the platform using its API.
The platform boasts advanced features usually reserved for professional-level platforms used for traditional markets.
As part of the purchase, RTBTC lead developer Clark Moody will join the Blockchain team. The terms of the bitcoin-only deal were not disclosed.
— ZeroBlock (@zeroblock) March 4, 2014
ZeroBlock indicated that the company’s existing news feed services would remain free, but that features made possible by the deal will be part of a new professional version of ZeroBlock.
Held elaborated on the pricing and availability details, stating:
“RTBTC will be integrated into ZeroBlock under the new ZeroBlock trading platform, which will be open for trading Tuesday. The subscription costs $20/month for unlimited trading.”
The paid version of ZeroBlock will allow traders to access a mobile app called ZeroBlock Pro, which hopes to enable mobile trading on Android and iOS apps, an interesting choice given that Apple has been notoriously strict in its policies regarding bitcoin apps. For example, the Blockchain wallet app was removed from Apple’s app stores in February.
Still, Held said he is optimistic that Apple will host the platform.
“Apple currently allows apps for trading like E-Trade and Oanda, which operate in traditional markets. Apple’s only worry with digital currency is that it will circumvent their in app purchase system. Bitcoin trading doesn’t directly allow the users to send/receive bitcoin.”
More to come
In the official release, ZeroBlock was enthusiastic about adding Clark to the team, lauding his development of the RTBTC platform. Further, CEO Nicolas Cary praised Moody, calling him a pioneer and visionary in the bitcoin economy.
Speaking to CoinDesk, Held talked further about Clark’s involvement with ZeroBlock, and what customers can expect from the partnership.
“Clark has incredible insight and technical understanding of the Bitcoin markets and is probably the most knowledgeable individual I know regarding cryptocurrency trading. Clark and I will sculpt the future of Bitcoin trading, taking it from a retail level to a professional one.”
Held said he is eager to develop his working relationship with Clark, but did not disclose additional details about any planned products.
The official release did however offer a teaser, promising “exciting new features are coming” to the trading platform, including support for additional exchanges.