Bittylicious Blog

NuBits now on Bittylicious

Apr
29

NuBits is the latest cryptocurrency to be listed on the Bittylicious platform, and it is available to buy via UK bank transfer and SEPA bank transfers across Europe.

The most interesting feature about NuBits over most other cryptocurrencies is its focus on price stability. One NuBit is intended to cost a certain price, and this is reflected on Bittylicious with one NuBit being $1 USD (converted into the appropriate British Pound or Euro price). There is a dedicated page on the NuBits site saying how this is achieved.

In the pipeline, we aim for NuBits to also be made available via credit and debit card purchases and we are actively investigating other ways this can be made available easily.

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Digital Currencies: Our Take on the Call for Information

Mar
18

HM Treasure recently published a report summarising the inputs received for their call for information on digital currencies.

The report seems to present an accurate summary of the main benefits and disadvantages for against digital currencies that we have heard of, with a primary focus on its use as a currency rather than Bitcoin 2.0 topics such as smart contracts. This is wise, given the maturity of using cryptocurrencies as a “money”.

The government’s next steps are as follows:

  • The government intends to apply anti-money laundering regulation to digital currency exchanges in the UK, to support innovation and prevent criminal use. The government will formally consult on the proposed regulatory approach early in the next Parliament.
  • As part of this consultation on the proposed regulatory approach, the government will look at how to ensure that law enforcement bodies have effective skills, tools and legislation to identify and prosecute criminal activity relating to digital currencies, including the ability to seize and confiscate digital currency funds where transactions are for criminal purposes.
  • The government will work with BSI (British Standards Institution) and the digital currency industry to develop voluntary standards for consumer protection.
  • The government is launching a new research initiative which will bring together the Research Councils, Alan Turing Institute and Digital Catapult with industry in order to address the research opportunities and challenges for digital currency technology, and will increase research funding in this area by £10 million to support this.

I think few would disagree with the increased funding research into digital currencies, or the improvement in skills, tools and legislation to identify and prosecute criminal activity relating to illegal use of digital currencies.

I believe that the proposed steps regarding regulation are generally sensible. Some AML regulation for digital currency exchanges, including Bittylicious, makes sense to me. I feel it may be wise to limit this to on and off ramps at this stage rather than crypto-to-crypto exchanges. A light touch approach, such as HMRC’s general AML policies, make sense for fiat-to-crypto exchanges, and many legitimate businesses such as ourselves are already implementing such procedures, even if not required. Bittylicious doesn’t require KYC documents for small(ish) purchases and sales, but we do for larger purchases. This is actually mostly for anti-fraud reasons, but this goes hand-in-hand with general KYC best practices.

In addition, I particularly like the initial approach to produce a set of voluntary standards for consumer protection rather than harsh regulation which will drive out innovative, small companies. A standard seal, or something along those lines, may be a good confidence indicator for consumers.

What we would like to see is more of an emphasis on convincing or even forcing banks to cooperate with cryptocurrency businesses and offer bank accounts of some sort. This is lightly mentioned in the report, with (in our opinion) a fairly poor excuse, and it would have been great to see this pushed along more strongly.

All in all, the response seems sensible and it is refreshing to hear a government that is not going overboard like certain states in the USA or even Germany trying to fit digital currencies into a legal box that doesn’t quite suit.

Coins at risk: Vertcoin, Quark, Peercoin and Worldcoin

Mar
18

At Bittylicious, we maintain a full node for each of the coins we have available for sale. This uses up server resources and also takes up extra page space.

Occasionally, we look at the altcoins we offer to see if any are under-performing, i.e. the interest in them is low. We were surprised to see that the sales on some of the altcoins haven’t just been low, they’ve been low to the point of making them unsustainable on Bittylicious.

Four altcoins are at serious risk, with two others also under-performing. We consider an altcoin to be at serious risk when the sales generated is less than or around £100 per month. This results in a profit of less than £1 per month, so this cutoff is already very generous. We really like all the coins on here and they all offer some sort of innovation, but at these levels, we cannot maintain them on the platform. For comparison, the amount of Bitcoin sales over the last three months is around £2 million.

 

 

 

 

 

The coins at serious risk of removal are (and total amount sold over the last three months):

The other coins under-performing are:

We need more engagement from the communities of these coins in order to promote them on Bittylicious, and also possibly for other sellers of these altcoins to offer them. A Worldcoin team member contacted us just before we published this and they have been promoting Bittylicious, raising their position in this list. This is the right thing to do – get the word out there and let us know if we can do anything to help, and we encourage all of the other altcoin teams to also get more engaged.

Cash payments: use it or lose it

Jan
14

Bittylicious recently suspended its cash payments option but we have been in intense negotiations about how best to try and continue this service.

The cash payment service involves taking a payment slip to any one of over 10,000 Payzone locations in the UK. These are typically corner stores and other small shops. The Bitcoins are sent within a few minutes of the cash being accepted by the shop. It’s a quick and easy way to buy Bitcoins without needing a bank account, but it does require ID to be uploaded.

Cash payments are not a money spinner for Bittylicious and actually are not very popular. We typically sell £1,000-£2,000 per month, and this results in a profit for us of no more than £50 per month. Cash is often the cheapest way to buy Bitcoins on Bittylicious, or at least close to the cheapest.

Bittylicious has been given an offer to continue this service but at a minimum monthly cost of £250. This doesn’t make sense financially at the moment, but we like this service a lot and we know that some of you also enjoy using this option.

What would encourage you to use the cash service more often? Should we continue offering this service? We cannot subsidise it forever so we need to increase usage of the service. We would welcome your comments below.

Cash payments suspended

Jan
09

Cash payments on Bittylicious are suspended for the time being. We are working with the cash payment processor to see if this is likely to be a temporary issue or permanent, but it is likely that cash payments will not be available for at least one week.

Cash payments on Bittylicious involve going to a Payzone location, typically a local corner store, of which there are over 10,000 in the UK. We are working hard to try and maintain this popular functionality, so please bear with us.

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Christmas Pub Get-together

Dec
11

Some Bittylicious regulars, including staff and sellers, will be meeting up at The Pembury Tavern on the evening of Friday 12th December starting at around 6.30pm. This pub is in Hackney, London. Everyone is welcome to join us for an informal evening of Bitcoin chat, and you can pay for your beers and food using Bitcoin as well.

Look out for a big ‘B’ symbol on one of the tables. Hopefully we can light it up and it’ll be pretty obvious where we are, so come and say hello.

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Bitcoins using Credit Cards in British Pounds

Dec
10

London, 10th December 2014. Furthering its objective as being the easiest way to buy Bitcoins, Bittylicious now allows users to buy Bitcoins using a credit or debit card in British Pounds.

Bittylicious has extended its credit card offering to now allow users to pay in British Pounds. Previously users were only able to purchase using Euros and this meant that British customers often had to pay a foreign exchange fee to their card provider. Now, payments can be made directly in British Pounds with no increase in price compared to Euro purchases.

Before making any card purchases, users must upload identification documentation consisting of one proof of name and one proof of address. Previously, this often took some time to process, but now the validation is done in house which means that users will be able to buy Bitcoins more quickly than before. There is a choice between specific documents that must be uploaded with the regular bank transfer option being available to those that do not have suitable documentation.

Bittylicious presently sells all altcoins for Euros and just Bitcoins for British Pounds but in the near future, it aims to allow all altcoins to be purchased this way as well.

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Exchange Bitcoins for Amazon.co.uk Gift Vouchers

Dec
04

You can now exchange Bitcoins for Amazon.co.uk gift vouchers on Bittylicious.

Bittylicious, the UK’s premier site for buying Bitcoins quickly and easily, recently started allowing users to sell Bitcoins in exchange for British Pounds via UK bank transfer. This service has now been extended to allow users to sell Bitcoin in exchange for gift vouchers redeemable at Amazon.co.uk.

The process is swift and Bittylicious waits for three confirmations before producing the Amazon.co.uk voucher code. A QR code and associated Bitcoin address are presented to the user, and upon the incoming transaction being seen, an estimated time for production of the voucher is given. The service is provided in partnership with pockio, a company specialising in exchanging cryptocurrencies for gift vouchers.

Assuming there is significant demand, Bittylicious intends to extend the range of gift cards offered to all offered by pock.io. Bittylicious also intends on making this functionality available across its entire altcoin base, including Litecoin, Dogecoin, StartCOIN and Darkcoin.

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Users can now sell Bitcoins to Bittylicious

Nov
21

Sell1Bittylicious now enables its users to sell Bitcoins to Bittylicious and be paid by instant UK bank transfer or mobile payment method PayM.

As well as being the simplest service to use for purchasing Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, Bittylicious is now the simplest service to use when selling Bitcoins to brokers on the Bittylicious platform. Users simply need to choose how much to sell and send the Bitcoins to an address by clicking or typing it in, or scanning a QR code. Bittylicious waits for approximately 30 minutes for the transaction to be suitably confirmed and the money is sent to the user shortly afterwards.

The entire process is outlined in a new step-by-step guide available on the Bittylicious help pages at https://bittylicious.com/help/index.php/Bitcoin_selling_guide

Technically, cryptocurrencies are bought by brokers on the Bittylicious platform, which is how this service usually works in the UK. This enables a competitive marketplace to be formed as brokers compete for the user’s business. As this new functionality becomes used more regularly, Bittylicious expects that competition will increase and prices will start to approach the ‘Buy’ price.

In the near future, Bittylicious also aims to open up this functionality to other cryptocurrencies as well as other payment methods.

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Bittylicious is now PCI DSS Compliant

Oct
31

Bittylicious has recent been security validated and has been found to be operating in compliance with PCI DSS standards.

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is designed to increase controls around credit cardholder data to reduce credit card fraud. Bittylicious processes Visa and Master credit card transactions and becoming compliant with these standards is becoming more important.

Bittylicious does not store cardholder information but merely captures it and passes it on to payment processors. This significantly decreases the available attack area, meaning that cardholder data is much more likely to be secure.

Bittylicious already follows all best practices when it comes to security, and the PCI compliance status was granted immediately after the first network scan with no major issues found.

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