Australian Startup Brighton Peak Launches Bitcoin Exchange

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Melbourne-based Brighton Peak has announced today the public launch of its bitcoin exchange, the company’s flagship product.

The exchange, powered by AlphaPoint’s technology, promises to be liquid, secure and user-friendly.

AlphaPoint is a US-based financial technology company that develops blockchain-enabled solutions to store, track and trade digital assets. The firm is providing Brighton Peak with a custom-built technology supporting nearly 1 million transactions per second, designed to maintain speed even during volume spikes.

“We have put months of effort into creating what we believe is the most fluid, intuitive process for engaging digital currency markets and we believe these are precisely the types of solutions needed to bring the ecosystem into its maturity,” said Suryanata Wongtomo, Brighton Peak’s co-founder and managing director.

Launched in 2013, Brighton Peak initially offered Bitcoin and blockchain consulting services to businesses. In early 2014, the company announced its plans to launch a bitcoin exchange targeted at traders.

“Australia has a vibrant digital currency community, and we feel it is the perfect market in which to launch a user-oriented exchange,” Wongtomo argued.

The launch of Brighton Peak’s bitcoin exchange comes two months after major banks in Australia have been reportedly closing accounts of 17 bitcoin exchanges in what the companies called a “crackdown” from the country’s banks.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) confirmed in October that it would be investigating the banks over this issue, expressing concerns over possible unlawful practices.

Senator Canavan welcomed the news of the ACCC investigation, stating:

“It appears to me to be an amazing coincidence that a number of large banks have all of a sudden decided to deny services to fledgling Bitcoin and digital currency operators.

“They are clearly competitors to their business model, albeit small ones at this stage, and there are clear laws that we’ve got against businesses refusing to supply other businesses if they do so for an anti-competitive purpose.”

This week, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and the Coalition of Automated Legal Applications (COALA) hosted the Sydney Blockchain Workshops, a four-day event that brought together regulators, policy makers and technologist to better understand the opportunities and challenges of blockchain technology.

Banks’ interest in blockchain technology had grown rapidly in recent months. A clear demonstration of this interest is the R3 blockchain consortium, which is being backed by 30 of the world’s largest banks, including two of Australia’s ‘Big Four’ banks CBA and the National Bank of Australia.

Earlier this week, R3’s head of research Tim Swanson, announced that the firm has been working on the development of a generic blockchain, noting that the system is expected to start operating within a year.