Small Business Q&A: Peter and James Nagle from Bitcove

In this week’s Q&A, Kehlan Kirwin talks with Peter and James Nagle from Bitcove. Bitcove is aiming to make it easy and quicker for people to transfer money using bitcoin.

Tell us about Bitcove?

Bitcove is Ireland’s first Bitcoin exchange. It allows users to convert euros into Bitcoin or vice versa. So previously people who were interested in Bitcoin or who used the service had to wait three to five days for a money transfer. With our service that wait is taken out and the transfer now becomes instantaneous. We engage with the local banking system here in Ireland to allow instant transfers to users of Bitcoin. We avoid technical jargon for customers. Our website allows people to fully understand the service and how it works.

Where does the story of Bitcove begin?

It began quite a while ago. James at the time was doing a masters in computer science and one of the modules he took a particular interest in was cryptography. He then looked at cryptography in terms of keeping data safe and from that grew an interest in cryptocurrency, which is supported by that technology. Bitcoin isn’t the only digital currency operator, but it is the one that is most widely used to pay for ordinary goods and services around the world. So we then decided to focus solely on this platform and work and try and make it easier and more efficient to use. So we began work on it in early 2014 and then by September we managed to get onto the IGNITE programme in UCC.

Why have you made your way to Greece to promote your business?

We’re helping businesses here to transfer their money abroad or receive payments from abroad and that isn’t really viable for some of them at this point. So you can imagine the knock-on effect of this. People can’t pay suppliers and vice versa. When the banks were closed down this exasperated the situation even further. This also showed that normal banking institutions have limitations and that has a huge on ordinary businesses. So we’re here to show how Bitcove works and how it can benefit them and their business. We want to show them that they can use it to protect the continuity of their business and in turn continue to impact their society through jobs or the services they offer.

How do you ensure people recognise your service first, rather than through other financial institutions?

What we’re trying to do is push Bitcove out into the public domain by speaking to people like yourself, get to conferences and spread the word about it. So we’re targeting people who already use Bitcoin as part of what they do in business or their lives. After that we aim to go after the general public.

What is the future for Bitcove then?

Over the next three years we want to firmly establish ourselves as the leading place in Ireland to acquire and sell Bitcoin. From that we want to replicate our services as we believe it can make a marked difference to business and people. Instantaneous delivery of money is the real factor to what we’re doing. It means people can work in real time with real money and not perhaps wait several days or nearly a week to receive it.

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