Bitcoin is thriving all around the world, yet that doesn’t mean it is easy for digital currency-related companies to thrive as well. As the world of Bitcoin and other digital currencies keep evolving at an accelerated pace, companies are forced to adapt their strategies every so often. Sometimes that can lead to drastic decisions, such as Netagio moving away from the Bitcoin ecosystem altogether.
Exchanging Bitcoin, Gold & GBP on One Platform
Netagio has always been an interesting UK-based company, especially when they announced a new exchange platform which would combine intermittent trading of three valuable assets This feature was announced in the summer of 2014 – as Netagio was one of the exhibitors during CoinSummit 2014 in London – and made the company the first and only British exchange enabling users to trade gold, Bitcoin and GBP on one and the same peer-to-peer exchange platform..
Not only would this platform prove to be a great asset to institutional investors, but retail customers also enjoyed the benefits offered by Netagio. Instead of having separate accounts for buying and selling gold in exchange for fiat, plus another account with a different service for exchanging fiat currency and Bitcoin, both worlds came together under the Netagio banner in July of 2014.
One of the more unique aspects of this all-in-one exchange platform was the fact that Netagio rewarded liquidity providers. Due to their implementation of a ‘maker-taker model’, liquidity was one of the key elements to making this exchange platform a major success. When asked about this decision, as well as the reason for combining gold, fiat currency and Bitcoin on one platform, Netagio’s CEO, Simon Hamblin had the following to say :
[blockquote]”We have been encouraged by the early and increasing appetite from retail customers and institutional investors. From our conversations, they clearly want to take advantage of the opportunities available from being able to trade between the asset classes on a single continuous exchange, any time of day or night. Concerned about the speed, cost and security implications of sending their transactions abroad, customers clearly wanted a British-based banking relationship, which we can now offer.”[/blockquote]
Credit & Debit Card Payments for Bitcoin
Just a few weeks ago, Netagio managed to shock the world once again by announcing the integration of credit and debit card payments for purchasing Bitcoin with GBP, EUR and USD. The decision was not made lightly, as it was a strategic play in the company’s expansion plan to becoming a global player in the Bitcoin exchange scene.
It has to be said however that Netagio was well on its way to become a global brand, as their services were available in no less than 114 countries at that point. Every customer from any of those supported countries was now given easy access to buying Bitcoin through traditional payment methods in the form of credit and debit cards. WalPay, an Isle of Man-based payment services provider who partnered with Netagio at the end of September, would take care of processing these transactions. Hamlin told the media
[blockquote]”Our customers will always be our number one priority. We recently expanded our order books to USD and EUR in response to customer feedback and now also offer a choice of payment methods, with our new credit & debit card payments in addition to the traditional banking payments. The US and Europe are the largest markets for Bitcoin trading, after China, and as such present a great opportunity for retail and institutional investors wishing to access these markets.”[/blockquote]
Out with Bitcoin, Hello Wealth Storage
Despite all of the successes, partnerships and plans for expansion Netagio has seen, the decision to restructure business in a completely different direction could not be avoided. According to their official press statement, the recent Bitcoin setbacks – stagnation in the industry & trading volumes, as well as a reduction in price – have played a big role in the decision making.
Furthermore, the growing uncertainty around the world in regards to regulation and legislation of Bitcoin and the ever-negative stance of financial institutions towards this disruptive digital currency are forcing Netagio’s hand. Especially in the United Kingdom – where Netagio is operating from – there is far too little growth in Bitcoin adoption and awareness to justify the previous business model.
[blockquote]”We are immensely proud of our efforts and achievements to date while facing the reality of a stagnating market place in Europe, in an environment of regulatory and political uncertainty facing Bitcoin businesses. As experienced Board representatives we recognise when industry winds blow in other directions and it is time to review and restructure.”[/blockquote]
However, the Bitcoin experience has brought valuable insights and ideas to the Netagio team, which will be put to great use when their wealth storage business launches in March of 2015. By offering physical vault safekeeping on a global scale, both individuals and companies can diversify their savings risk. Netagio will continue to comply with KYC regulations and transparency obligations, similar to when it was running the aforementioned exchange platform.
Due to this change in direction, all Bitcoin, GBP, USD and EUR trading on Netagio will be suspended as of today, February 16th 2015. Existing customers of the platform have up to 30 days to withdraw all of their remaining funds and close their trading accounts.
Website : https://www.netagio.com