Adam Tepper, CEO, Independent Reserve
"The use and ownership of Bitcoins is growing, and users want a safe, secure place to buy, sell and store them."
Sydney - Independent Reserve, the Bitcoin market, has announced the opening of its new exchange based in Sydney, Australia.
CEO Adam Tepper said Independent Reserve would add a valuable source of liquidity to the growing Bitcoin market. In a survey with almost 450 people, Independent Reserve found while only 8% had used Bitcoin, more than half felt they understood Bitcoin and over 75% definitely or possibly planned to find out more in the near future.
"The use and ownership of Bitcoins is growing, and users want a safe, secure place to buy, sell and store them," he said. "Our team has a solid background in finance as well as IT, bringing the rigour of a financial services framework to the new Bitcoin industry.
"Our proprietary technology includes many levels of safeguards to ensure users are well protected. We have the last mover advantage, and have spent thousands of hours on R&D and learning from other venues to make sure our platform is completely robust," he said.
In Australia, the tax office has announced it would treat Bitcoin as an asset, while in New Zealand the Reserve Bank simply stated Bitcoin owners and operators don't need its approval. Independent Reserve Advisory Board Chairman, Michael Go, said the regulation of Bitcoin would be a welcome development.
"The fact that regulators and industry watchdogs are taking Bitcoin seriously is an excellent thing," he said. "With increased regulation comes improvements in the quality and safety of the industry as a whole, which is something we very much welcome."
Independent Reserve does not charge GST on transactions. CTO Adrian Przelozny said the company strongly believed that Australians should not be penalised for the use of Bitcoin. "We do include GST as part of the brokerage fee charged to Australian customers, but we absorb that cost."
Independent Reserve will run and maintain its platform from Sydney base. "We have spoken consistently with ASIC and the ATO as Independent Reserve has developed, as well as had the company audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers," Tepper said. "We're very comfortable that we have the right settings here to ensure its safety and success."
Independent Reserve charges a flat fee of 0.5% on all trades but is open to negotiation with market makers and heavy volume traders.