The first platform to trade Bitcoins, the new and increasingly popular virtual, private currency, was recently launched in Romania. A young Romanian from the city of Oradea created the trading platform btcxchange.ro and hopes to be able to move Bitcoin trading ‘to street level too’, for various payments.
Horea Vuscan, vicepresident of the Green Party and entrepreneur, tested and used the platform himself, and pledged to keep it fee-free this year.
In an online press conference, Vuscan said trading this currency has many facilities, as there are no intermediaries to impose trading costs, and Bitcoins are sold on a free market, which is not controlled by any state, with its price purely driven by demand and offer.
Elsewhere in the world, financial experts warned that investments in Bitcoins are not safe, as they are not regulated or backed up by banks, nor by Governments. However, Vuscan believes investments in Bitcoins are the future, specifically because of the lack of regulations, and because of the fluctuations in price. He reminded that a Bitcoin was sold for around USD 12 at the beginning of 2013, and reached USD 1,200 per Bitcoin at the end of the year.
After creating an account on the new platform, a user can trade and transfer between Bitcoins and Romanian currency. A Bitcoin unit is worth about RON 2,700 based on the latest price featured on btcxchange.ro.
Using the model from elsewhere in the world, two Romanian businesses have started accepting payments in Bitcoin, according to Vuscan, a restaurant in Bucharest and a coffee shop in Constanta.
Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer payment system and digital currency introduced as open source software in 2009 by pseudonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto. It is a cryptocurrency, so-called because it uses cryptography to control the creation and transfer of money.
The currency has gained increasing popularity, which has attracted a number of large investors, and even businesses which accept payments in Bitcoins. Regulators however have expressed fears that the currency could be used for money laundering and for illegal activities, and investors in Bitcoins are not covered by any insurance due to the lack of regulations for virtual currencies.
(photo source: Thebitcoinmuseum.com)