Plug and Play has invested in its first Bitcoin company. Bex.io, based out of Vancouver Canada, is a white label exchange platform for Bitcoin that started back in April of 2013.
“The basic idea is that we partner with people around the world that marry local banking, regulatory, and marketing channels and we power all the software in the backend and split the transaction fees with our partners.” Co-Founder Jesse Heaslip said.
Bex.io was chosen for the three month program at Plug and Play after their pitch won at the Startup Showdown at the Vancouver Accelerator. While they are going to keep their headquarters in Vancouver because of the kinder regulatory climate, they are looking forward to working Plug and Play’s network and corporate partners.
Jesse’s presence started early on in the game, which positioned him and his partner Yurii Rashkovskii very opportunely when bitcoin related needs began arising.
“I started hosting the local [Bitcoin] meet ups about two years ago when I was working at Growlabs, and the first meets were basically three other people trying to convince me that this was going to be the next big thing. I told them that they were crazy. What finally convinced me was the price spike earlier this spring. I was in the space when it was as low as seven or eight dollars, and when it broke through a hundred dollars it was a real eye-opener. I think that’s why a lot of people are interested, honestly. Now that it’s broken through a thousand dollars it’s got a lot of credibility.” Jesse said.
And while the price continues to be volatile, it should be reinforced that bitcoin’s use as a currency is merely the first application built on the protocol. Breaking the thousand dollar mark brought with it wider recognition, which in turn has led to a lot of innovation and a rise in need to understand the data surrounding virtual currency. People began approaching Jesse and Yurii about building exchange software and, after some price haggling, Bex.io was born.
When it comes to the compliance issues that Bitcoin companies face, Bex.io has found a way to avoid the brunt of it.
“That’s the beautiful thing about our model; we leave the regulatory aspects to our partners. We bring the software expertise in the domain space and they bring the other side. The main issues we run up against are the frustrations of our partners as they struggle to open bank accounts or get the appropriate licenses.” Jesse said.
By avoiding the complicated spider’s web of regulation issues, Bex.io can focus on the big picture of what’s happening in the space right now, and what exciting things are beginning to come into view on the horizon.
“There’s a lot of exciting stuff coming up in the space, some of the most exciting stuff that’s happening I can’t talk about because it hasn’t be released. The space is so rapidly evolving that I don’t think we even have an idea what the space will look like six months or a year from now. For us, we’re trying to stay focused on evolving with the space. As rapidly as the space evolves we would like to evolve the product and keep it at the front edge of the curve. I don’t think we’re quite there yet but some of the conversations we’re involved with now I think are really part of the future of what the crypto-currency space is going to look like. That’s what I hope for our company’s future, that we stay at the front edge of that curve.” Jesse said.
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