Yesterday, Australia’s most well-known Digital Currency startup CoinJar, announced it has relocated it’s headquarters to the United Kingdom as part of its growth strategy, that will allow bitcoin holders more flexibility when it comes to buying, selling and using the digital currency.
Coinjar, which happens to be the longest running local Bitcoin company in Australia, was founded by Asher Tan and Ryan Zhou and is part of the Melbourne-based AngelCube accelerator alumni. It was founded in 2013 and claims to have over 32,000 customers and has processed over $50 million in transactions.
The company has officially incorporated as a UK company, CoinJar UK Ltd, and has taken up residence at Europe’s largest financial technology accelerator, the high-profile Level 39 at Canary Wharf in London. Tan has said that he will be moving to London and will begin hiring new talent in the UK, that includes a team of top developers that will increase the companies European operations.
“CoinJar was born from a disruptive and innovative place, and we are always focused on solving the problems of the future and offering the best solutions,” Tan said.
“As we expand to the UK, we believe this will open up more opportunities for our existing Australian customers to use a better global service.”
This move also means that CoinJar customers will no longer be subject to the 10 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) when they buy bitcoin using the exchange, which came into effect from yesterday. Whilst it could look like the move might be linked to the Australian Tax Office’s decision to levy GST on bitcoin purchases, Tan has said that it is not behind the decision of moving to the UK, but admits it is a welcome byproduct of that decision.
“Even as we become a global company, our goal is to be on the ground as much as possible, wherever our customers are. Some things in technology don’t scale – like the support of meetup groups, helping local communities and businesses,” Tan said.
“That is something we’re passionate about and it will not change. We’re excited to be part of the progressive digital currency scene in London, and we know we can play an important role in this market. Our mission here, as it has been in Australia, is to build great products that people love, that make digital finance simple and accessible to all”.
The move comes as the cryptocurrency sector really starts to heat up. Just last week the domain bitcoin.com.au sold for a alleged $39,930 – one of the highest prices for a domain sale this year according to the DNtrade forum.
Originally the domain name was owned by DigitalBTC, founded by Zhenya Tsvetnenko, however various reports say that he released the domain name due to the sites reputation being synonymous with malware and therefore was banned from many social media sites. It has been reported that Dominic Carosa, investor and founder of the Future Capital Bitcoin Fund (FCBF) that launched earlier this year is now the new owner of that domain.
And it is not just bitcoin that is garnering large sums of money in the cryptocurrency space either. At the beginning of November, Blackbird VC, also an investor in CoinJar, led a $445,000 investment round into micro payments tool Dogetipbot, that allows users to micro tip others by pledging dogecoin which receivers can then redeem for the currency.
The merit of digital currency as an important part of the future online economy is becoming more obvious, as startups like CoinJar and Dogetipbot gain traction in not just popularity but also as contributors to the internet begin to make ‘real’ money via their platforms. Whilst it may feel like these cryptocurrencies are a fad right now to most people outside of the tech space, the reality is we are moving closer to the day we will experience a global ‘internet’ economy.