GoCoin and Ziftr Announce Merger to Grow Payment Processing Platform for Merchants

Bitcoin Magazine
GoCoin and Ziftr Announce Merger to Grow Payment Processing Platform for Merchants

Global Singapore-based bitcoin payment processing startup and mobile wallet GoCoin has announced that the company is set to proceed with a strategic merger agreement with veteran e-commerce and credit card processing company Ziftr.

Together, the two companies will offer a combined payment processing platform specifically targeted to merchants.

GoCoin’s decision to enter into a merger with Ziftr was greatly influenced by the continuous decline of their bitcoin platform’s transaction volumes, GoCoin explained. “With a growing number of marquee brands consistently coming on our platform only to become disenchanted due to low transaction volumes, GoCoin will no longer sit back and wait for change to come.”

Together, the two companies aim to rise above international competitors including Bitpay and Coinbase, by providing better tools and features with incentives for everyday purchases for its users. According to their press release, GoCoin and Ziftr are already equipped with the team and technology needed to “swiftly surpass” well established bitcoin payment processors and financial institutions.

With the existing payment gateways and the mobile wallet of GoCoin, Ziftr plans to aggressively challenge its competitor, Stripe, through the development of “a hybrid traditional and digital currency payments powerhouse with a built-in customer loyalty program.”

GoCoin CEO Steve Beauregard announced, “When consumers ask ‘what’s in it for me?’, Bitcoin has a serious adoption problem. Loyalty points play a key role in a consumer’s choice of payment method, and with the ziftrCOIN loyalty platform integrated into the ziftrWALLET, I believe we can finally give consumers the right experience to choose digital currencies over cards at checkout.”

GoCoin is currently the world’s third largest blockchain payment processor, just behind Bitpay and Coinbase. With a diversified portfolio of clients which includes top mining companies such as Bitfury, Zoomhash, Hashpros and KnCminer and global brands including Shopify, CheapAir and Paypal, GoCoin plans to develop a platform efficient for many industries with the help of Ziftr. As of now, the company hopes to attract key players in the entertainment industry, specifically film producers and distributers.

“Ziftr has many of the necessary assets to accelerate mainstream adoption of digital currency, so merging with GoCoin and gaining access to its rapidly growing network of merchants gives our combined altcoin-friendly company the power to truly disrupt the $20 trillion global payments market,” Bob Wilkins, CEO of Ziftr commented. “Our platform will allow merchants of all sizes to benefit from the transparency and efficiency of blockchain payments by giving them a better solution than what’s currently available.”

As Wilkins explained, GoCoin’s network of merchants grew rapidly in the fourth quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015. In the fourth quarter of 2014, it was responsible for 37 percent of all new merchants accepting digital currency including dogecoin, litecoin and bitcoin.

While the plans for the unified platform of GoCoin and Ziftr have not been released just yet, the large user base and rapidly growing networks for both companies could be a key factor for the merger to bring the services and platforms of these two companies to a new level given the synergies.

The post GoCoin and Ziftr Announce Merger to Grow Payment Processing Platform for Merchants appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

OpenBazaar Receives $1 Million in Funding from Top Investors to Launch Decentralized Marketplace

OpenBazaar announced that it received $1 million in seed funding from Union Square Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and angel investor William Mougayar to develop the OpenBazaar protocol and client.

OpenBazaar is an open-source project to create a decentralized network for peer-to-peer (P2P) commerce online – using bitcoin – that has no fees and cannot be censored. It can be seen as a distributed, decentralized version of eBay powered by P2P technologies such as BitTorrent and Bitcoin.

“OpenBazaar is a different approach to online commerce,” states the OpenBazaar website. “It puts the power back in the users’ hands. Instead of buyers and sellers going through a centralized service, OpenBazaar connects them directly. Because there is no one in the middle of the transactions, there are no fees, no one can censor transactions, and you only reveal the personal information that you choose.”

Decentralization – the absence of a central server that can be attacked, shut down or seized by hostile agents – is an important feature of OpenBazaar. While Napster, a pre-BitTorrent file-sharing Internet service popular between 1999 and 2002, had its servers seized by the authorities and shut down, the decentralized BitTorrent technology proved much more resilient because it didn’t rely on central servers. Similarly, the history of Silk Road shows that online marketplaces can become resilient only by abandoning central servers in favor of decentralized protocols.

Another stated goal of the OpenBazaar team and its new investors is to build the first business on top of the OpenBazaar network. The business, dubbed OB1, will offer services to OpenBazaar users, and aims to bootstrap adoption of decentralized commerce by offering services such as dispute resolution, store hosting, and more. The OpenBazaar protocol and client will continue to be open source, MIT licensed, distributed and free.

“OpenBazaar is intriguing,” notes The Wall Street Journal. “It’s using two key technologies, file-sharing software and bitcoin, to produce a sort of decentralized eBay, where buyers and sellers will interact directly and private data will be kept private. The platform works using BitTorrent file-sharing software and bitcoin to create a decentralized network of buyers and sellers. There is no middle-man, and no user fees. It is completely open.”

Amir Taaki and other developers created the first OpenBazaar prototype, known as DarkMarket, in April 2014 at a Toronto Bitcoin Hackathon, as a proof of concept in response to the seizure of Silk Road in October 2013. Taaki compared DarkMarket’s improvements on Silk Road to BitTorrent’s improvements on Napster. Indeed, BitTorrent, the father of modern approaches to a decentralized Internet, proved to be a fast and fully operational replacement for Napster without the critical weakness of depending on a central server.

Soon after DarkMarket was revealed at the Hackathon, developer Brian Hoffman forked the project and renamed it OpenBazaar. While the project is aimed at decentralizing general-purpose marketplaces like eBay, it seems likely that it will be used for illegal operations as well, which the decentralized nature of the platform will make very hard to shut down.

But OpenBazaar itself is just software, it’s “agnostic,” Hoffman says. The users themselves will determine what gets sold there.

“It’s what comes with the territory,” Hoffman said. “Bitcoin has the same problem.”

The post OpenBazaar Receives $1 Million in Funding from Top Investors to Launch Decentralized Marketplace appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.