Bitreserve, a payments company started by CNET founder Halsey Minor that seeks to solve Bitcoin's volatility problem, has announced a new partnership with the Mexican billionaire Ricardo Salinas-Pliego and the support of two new currencies on its platform.
Minor founded Bitreserve late last year to provide low cost, high-speed, international transaction services with a particular aim toward the underbanked in developing countries. Bitreserve accepts bitcoin deposits from users and allows them to convert their balances into fiat currencies to avoid the digital currency's sharp ups and downs. User can convert the money back into bitcoin to take advantage of the Internet currency's near-instantaneous, peer-to-peer transaction network.
Bitreserve also offers its customers a ledger, similar to Bitcoin's blockchain, tracking every change in the company's assets, as well as a mechanism that provides the full history of each bit of currency spent in its network.
The company already provided conversions to the U.S. dollar, euro, renminbi, the British pound and yen. Bitreserve will now also support transactions in Indian rupees and Mexican pesos to target the remittance market. Each transaction nets the company a 0.45% commission. The company keeps reserves on hand to cover any fluctuations in bitcoin-to-fiat exchange rates that occur.
Its partnership with Salinas-Pliego provides Bitreserve with an undisclosed increased amount of capital through direct investment as well as access to customers through the mogul's retail and banking businesses in Mexico.
"We are committed to reducing costs and putting consumers and businesses in control of their money," Minor, who is Bitreserve's chief executive, wrote in a blog post. "Our growth and partnerships are a testament to people around the world recognizing that together we can build a fairer, faster, lower cost, transparent and real-time financial system."
The company, which paints itself in a social entrepreneurial light, launched a data visualization site called changemoney.org Thursday to show how and where its transactions travel.
Another startup, Align Commerce, similarly attempts to give the users the benefit of Bitcoin's low-cost, speedy cross-border transfers without the volatility, though its service is aimed at businesses, not consumers.