Introducing CoinJar Touch for Android

Today, we launched our long-awaited mobile application for Android – CoinJar Touch. The native app mirrors the CoinJar web platform and lets you manage your CoinJar on-the-go, wherever you are.

CoinJar Touch is designed to be your everyday bitcoin payments app, convenient for instant payments to others and quicker transfers between your accounts.

Download CoinJar Touch for Android

 

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Features:

• Pay instantly to CoinJar usernames, Bitcoin addresses and scanned QR codes.
• Request payments from anyone via email.
• Store funds without volatility in Hedged Accounts (GBP, EUR, USD and AUD)
• Transfer between bitcoin and cash with low fees.
• Withdraw funds to supported bank accounts¹.
• Secure your CoinJar with a passcode and Data Wipe.
• View your balances with AUD, GBP, BTC, EUR and USD as a value reference currency.
• Get push notifications for deposits, payment requests and confirmations.
¹ Currently available to Australian customers only.

Install CoinJar Touch for Android

Need help? Take a look at our Support Knowledge Base article for CoinJar Touch.

For any more information about CoinJar services, please contact our in-house support team. We’d also like to hear your thoughts and feedback on our products and features on Twitter. For promotions, offers, product launches and more, subscribe to CoinJar’s monthly newsletter.

Now every Australian business accepts bitcoin

Today we’re pleased to announce the general release of CoinJar Swipe, Australia’s first bitcoin debit card. With Swipe, you can spend your bitcoin anywhere that accepts EFTPOS and withdraw your bitcoin as cash at any ATM in Australia.

CoinJar Swipe is convenient, easy to use, and built so you can use your bitcoin to pay for the everyday things, like your morning coffee and the bills. If you live in Australia and have a verified identity, sign in and order your first bitcoin debit card.

Order CoinJar Swipe

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  • To order, there is a one time fee of $29.
  • To be eligible for CoinJar Swipe, you must be a verified CoinJar user.
    Not verified? Visit our identity verification portal.
  • Once ordered, your card will be delivered within 7-10 business days.
  • For more detailed information visit support.

Last year in September, we invited 100 members of our early access program, CoinJar DNA, to beta-test Swipe. It was well-received and using the beta-test feedback, our team was able to refine and improve Swipe for you today.

Here’s what our beta-testers thought of Swipe:

“With Swipe, I can now use Bitcoin to buy just about anything. The other day, I went out to the local Woolies and bought my lunch with bitcoin. Really, at the end of the day, I want to do everything that I already do with other currency, plus more with Bitcoin.”
Prashan Paramanathan, CEO, Chuffed.org

“I do like the fact that I can load my BTC onto the card and access the money immediately, as opposed to waiting for the obligatory 2 banking days to receive funds in my bank account. The process was pretty straightforward, receiving the card, activating it, loading money onto it, using the card to buy groceries.  All very easy. It’s definitely a step in the right direction to make Bitcoin more accessible for the masses.”
Daniel, DNA member

“Seeing it used in such a mundane context made it feel so real, and I started feeling really excited about the possibilities in this space.” 
Anthony, DNA member

“My favourite moment of using Swipe would be the time I ordered a meal and had my bank keycard fail. It would’ve been awkward had my Swipe not come to save the day.”
Gerard, DNA member

We look forward to hearing what you think of CoinJar Swipe. Share your feedback with us on Twitter or send us a support request.

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Order CoinJar Swipe

For more information, including the Product Disclosure Statement and the fee schedule for this product, visit our Support Knowledge Base article.

Introducing Hedged Accounts

Today, we’re excited to launch CoinJar’s newest feature for the everyday bitcoin user, Hedged Accounts. Hedged Accounts protect you from fluctuations in the bitcoin price by pegging your bitcoin to AUD, GBP, EUR or USD. They are available to be added to your CoinJar now.

Open a Hedged Account

 

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Hedged Accounts are great for people who want to start out with bitcoin for practical purposes but don’t want to manage it actively or worry about price volatility.
– Asher Tan, CEO

This new feature is particularly useful for businesses or charities that accept bitcoin as they can make business plans and budget without worrying about its volatility. Hedging their bitcoin gives them the assurance that their funds are stable, without having to transfer it to cash.

How Hedged Accounts work

A CoinJar Hedged Account allows you to hold a variable amount of bitcoins that have a fixed value in terms of an alternative currency (GBP, AUD, EUR, USD). This protects your bitcoin from price fluctuations.

CoinJar Hedged Accounts Infographic - AUD-2

 Need help? Read the Frequently Asked Questions article on our CoinJar Support Knowledge Base.

Introducing CoinJar Touch for iOS

Today, our team is excited to launch our redesigned mobile application for iOS – CoinJar Touch. CoinJar Touch is an everyday bitcoin payments app that lets you manage your CoinJar on-the-go, wherever you are. The app will be familiar to you as it mirrors CoinJar’s simple and easy to use web platform.

Using CoinJar Touch, you’ll be able to make instant payments to others and quicker transfers between your accounts. We built this because we believe you should have control over your money, wherever you are.

Download CoinJar Touch for iOS

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Features:
• Pay instantly to CoinJar usernames, Bitcoin addresses and scanned QR codes.
• Request payments from anyone via email.
• Transfer between bitcoin and cash with low fees.
• Withdraw funds to supported bank accounts¹.
• Secure your CoinJar with a passcode, Touch ID and Data Wipe.
• Sign up or sign in with 1Password integration.
• Store your bitcoin with AUD or GBP as a value reference currency.
• Get push notifications for deposits, payment requests and confirmations.
¹ Currently available to Australian customers only.

Install CoinJar Touch in the App Store

“We’ll be launching CoinJar Touch for Android shortly as well. Mobile is important for mainstream Bitcoin adoption because it’s accessible and reflective of the global trends. Mobile penetration has exceeded desktop computing and this is especially true in developing economies. Just like everything else CoinJar builds, CoinJar Touch is tailored to international markets.”
– Asher Tan, CEO

“We’re not only competing with other payment companies, but the physical wallet. Even with the extra benefits, like paying contacts and sending payment requests, paying via bitcoin must be fast, reliable and as easy to understand as paying with a card.”
– Cade Diehm, Creative Director

Need help? Take a look at our Support Knowledge Base article for CoinJar Touch.

For any more information about CoinJar services, please contact our in-house support team. We’d also like to hear your thoughts and feedback on our products and features on Twitter. For promotions, offers, product launches and more, subscribe to CoinJar’s monthly newsletter.

Our UK submission to the HM Treasury

On 3 December, we made a submission in response to the UK government’s economic and finance ministry’s call for information on digital currencies.

In an effort to make Britain the global centre of financial innovation, the HM Treasury’s consultation focussed the function of digital currencies as a payment method, rather than as a speculative investment. As published on their website, the call for information is lead by their desire to promote innovation and competition in the banking sector, learn more about digital currencies and hear the public’s views on regulation.

As suggested, our submission responded to the 13 questions posed by the HM Treasury around benefits, risks and regulation of digital currencies. Here are some excerpts:

  • Some of the benefits of digital currencies are felt at a functional, use-case level: the speed, efficiency, and flexibility of transactions. These are dependent on efficient gateways, reasonable tax treatment, and market depth. Some benefits are felt at a more systemic level, the resilience and transparency of a public secured ledger, and these are only meaningful if the currency is being used.
  • Bitcoin poses a huge challenge to international financial products which have remained stubbornly uncompetitive, most notably remittances, as well as basic banking for underbanked populations in both developing and developed economies.

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  • The biggest boon policymakers could give to the industry would be to find a way to give the industry access to banking services. The largest barrier to business in the UK is the blanket refusal of British banks to provide banking services to companies like ours.
  • Most user risks of digital currencies are comparable to the risks inherent in storing national currencies in an online bank account. Digital currencies do not offer an effective channel for money laundering or terrorist financing, given the permanent digital trail transactions leave in the public ledger.

“In communities such as Bitcoin these risks are actively tackled by researchers, developers, bounty hunters and ‘white hat’ hackers who endeavour to educate users, fix code vulnerabilities and document incidents of fraud and theft. In this sense the community, like any open source community, is already self-policing.”

  • For most digital currencies, it is effectively impossible to regulate the protocol that underlies the technology, The possible unintended consequence of this is that it could saddle early-stage technology companies with legal and regulatory costs that render them uncompetitive. Regulators should instead work with community players to ensure that the currency’s infrastructure is being responsibly managed and used.

If you have a moment, read the submission in full here. In November, we also made a submission to the Australian Senate, which can be found here.

Thank you for your support as we expand internationally to offer you a better global service.

A bitcoin night out with Tatiana Moroz

When Tatiana dropped by Melbourne for The Bitcoin Address in November, it was a great excuse for a girls’ night out – but with bitcoin!

I met Tatiana right outside Grumpy’s Green, a charming, bitcoin-friendly pub familiar to the local Melbourne music scene. She bounces out of her cab with a cheery smile, laughs about her public transport mishap and settles in for the night out to explore Melbourne with us.

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While we browsed the secondhand bookstores and thrift shops along Brunswick Street, I chatted to Tatiana about her experience as an international singer/songwriter and a bitcoin advocate in the New York artist community. It’s clear how passionate she is about cryptocurrency and what it means for musicians. It’s not a surprise, after all, she started the very first musical artist coin – Tatiana Coin – which owners can use to exclusively access Tatiana’s music, memorabilia, merchandise and gigs.

“It’s about being innovative use of the blockchain. Bitcoin can do so much for everyone, but for artists, there are so many opportunities. I know that bitcoin has some really solid support and interest in the community, but I also know that just like in the states, there will be plenty of people who don’t know about it yet!  In between hiking, swimming, and checking out the sites, I hope to have many opportunities to share how bitcoin has improved so many lives around the wall and is a truly international phenomena. “

For Tatiana, music is a powerful platform to communicate the power of bitcoin to people because it’s a universal language. And for this very same reason, she wrote the ‘Bitcoin Jingle’, a song about why she started using bitcoin. My favourite line from the song reveals Tatiana’s strong anti-war stance in her bitcoin campaign, ‘I didn’t want to give any of my money to a nation based on war. I wanted to be free, nothing holding me back from where I want to go.’

“The ‘Bitcoin Jingle’ started out as a way to sell a concept but the more that I became familiar with how this technology could impact society, the more it inspired my creative spirit.”

We had Tatiana perform and sing the ‘Bitcoin Jingle’ for The Bitcoin Address Melbourne and Sydney and it was a hit! When Sam (our Marketing Lead) and I were organising #TBA14, we wanted it to be special, and it was important that we used different forms of communication, and Tatiana really took it home for us. More on the event here, including bitcoin expert Andreas M. Antonopoulos’ address on the potential of the blockchain and what it means for the unbanked.


Tatiana at The Bitcoin Address with bitcoin law expert, Pamela Morgan. 

I used my CoinJar Swipe for most of the night and it was especially helpful once we started moving around. Tatiana thought it was incredibly useful because it allowed anyone to spend bitcoin anywhere that accepts EFTPOS. She was using the Airbitz App and while Melbourne does have its fair share of bitcoin-accepting businesses, the Swipe card made it much easier to live a bitcoin-lifestyle. She wanted one straightaway! I am counting down the days till Swipe is available to the public.

We covered a lot of ground in our girls’ night out, from our backgrounds, our travelling adventures to being women in tech. Tatiana formed part of our speaker dream team for The Bitcoin Address, but she was also great company while we were on the road.

If you have any questions for Tatiana, follow her on Twitter at @queentatianaofoz.

20141121_5637Setting Tatiana up with a CoinJar account

20141121_5672Paying for our drinks at Grumpy’s Green…

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That right there, is gelato bought with bitcoin!

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Showing off my Swipe card to Tatiana! And right before we had a lengthy discussion with our cab driver about bitcoin. It was fun to have someone to partake in my bitcoin rant with me!

20141124_1206Thank you to our dream speaker team for The Bitcoin Address – Tatiana (and her guitar with QR code!), Pamela Morgan and Andreas M. Antonopoulos. It was the Australian bitcoin community’s highlight event of the year! 

John’s work experience rundown

John joined us for work experience in one of CoinJar’s most hectic weeks for 2014. Here’s what he had to say about it…

My name is John Strentz, a 17 year old high school student from rural Victoria. Heavily inspired by Steve Jobs, when I was 15 I taught myself how to code and read everything I could get my hands on relating to startups and entrepreneurship. Having already enjoyed one week at McCann, a corporate advertising agency and another week at Electron Workshop at a co-working space, my week at CoinJar was yet another enlightening and inspiring experience. It completely reaffirmed my excitement for startups and solidified my passion for bitcoin.

My favourite thing was witnessing the launch of the new CoinJar. I got to observe the synergy that occurs when passionate people band together to make a world class product go live. CoinJar’s employees are genuinely excited by their product offering and as the company rapidly scales over the next year or so, challenges such as maintaining blazing efficiency or retaining good culture will hopefully be easy to overcome.

In my eyes, CoinJar is currently Melbourne’s best startup, so I was very excited to get the opportunity to spend a week with them. I had high expectations, much higher than I’ve had previously of a work experience placement and I was pleasantly surprised that it was everything I thought it would be. If there is any doubt that it is not already one of Australia’s greatest ever startups, as someone who has seen the inside, I can confidently say – soon there won’t be.

“Some things are evolutionary – they take advantage of existing structures and practices and refine and improve on them. Then there are things that are revolutionary…”

As for bitcoin, times have never been better. It is well and truly changing the world with unprecedented pace and effectiveness. Some things are evolutionary – they take advantage of existing structures and practices and refine and improve on them. Then there are things that are revolutionary – they are so incredibly ingenious that the structures and practices that existed before them will inevitably crumple to the ground and be abandoned en masse. In this sense, bitcoin is a revolutionary technology like the world has never seen before. The new CoinJar is a beautiful tool to unlock and realise the “everyday and extraordinary” opportunities of this revolutionary technology provides. For the company, its employees, its customers, the Australian startup community and bitcoin itself, these are very exciting times.

I’m grateful for the week I spent working at CoinJar and I look forward to what I can do in future to contribute to its truly awesome, global vision.

Follow John on Twitter @theuncoder.

Puppies vs Computers

This Christmas season, we’re asking you to choose between man’s best friend, and man’s best invention.

PvC Main Poster

The Puppies vs Computers Christmas donation drive started because of the CoinJar team’s passion for supporting non-profit organisations. We tend to be a very opinionated and outspoken bunch here, so we’re putting that energy to good use by supporting two of our favourite Australian non-profits, PetRescue and Electronic Frontiers Australia.

Now, a bit about the contenders. 

PetRescue is an Australia-wide non-profit organisation and Australia’s most visited charity website. They bring pet seekers face-to-furry-face with thousands of rescue pets from shelters and rescue groups nationwide. They save over 6,000 lives every month and since launching, they’ve rehomed over 250,000 pets.

Electronic Frontiers Australia has been Australia’s leading voice for digital rights since 1994. They’re independent of government and commerce and rely on membership subscriptions and donations to operate. They campaign for your right to digital privacy by writing submissions, meeting with Federal MPs and Senators, and lobbying.

Take your pick.

Get in the bitcoin-giving spirit and donate! It’s a little cheeky but there’s nothing like a bit of friendly competition, especially for the causes these non-profits campaign for.

Using CoinJar, send any amount using CoinJar usernames: @PetRescue or @EFA_Oz.

If you use another wallet just use the QR code or their bitcoin address:
PetRescue: 1PSQVYYw4NSxM68A1vuKzXsx2tfLKdpRH5
Electronic Frontiers Australia: 1MtfvcxToHDyqGzoR2Nve1rfkAPCdBv1oC

If you’re making a Dogecoin donation:
PetRescue:  AD9hPdDJV37iGEmPCrRHjXZjdeVagx1UNV
Electronic Frontiers Australia: A8HJomFTopw8u9cXmcGq55uoq2s6nkuqsG
*Addresses are multisig, so they start with ‘A’ instead of ‘D’.

On Boxing Day, we will check the balances, and the group with most donations will get a bitcoin bonus from CoinJar.

Pick a side and tell us who you’re getting behind on Twitter using #pupcomp and be sure to share this around to support these causes.

We’ll be providing regular updates on the tally through Twitter and Facebook. Get your friends involved and contribute to animal welfare and digital privacy rights with bitcoin this festive season.

Our Australian Senate Inquiry submission

On 28 November, we made a submission to the Australian Senate Economics References Committee for the Inquiry into an appropriate framework for digital currencies.

In our submission, we asked the Senate to endeavour to consider the following points in drawing up legislation and recommendations:

  • the unique advantages of digital currencies
  • being competitive and pragmatic in regulatory expectations
  • focusing on the players, not the protocol
  • being unambiguous and committed.

“For many of the big regulatory questions around digital currencies, the easiest way to provide clarity may be to treat them in the same manner as foreign currencies…This would offer the quickest route to extending robust protection to consumers and merchants currently using digital currencies.”

We presented expected industry impact to the payments, retail and banking industry, including:

  • competitive pressure
  • changing consumer expectations
  • an increasingly global market
  • improved financial inclusion
  • market diversification.

“A properly nurtured ecosystem of digital currency companies could create a range of credible small-to-medium financial providers, making the sector (banking) overall more competitive and resilient.”

In our concluding paragraphs, we ask the Australian government to support and defend the technology and finance sectors with integration with the global economy, fulfilling Australia’s potential as a financial technology leader.

“The Australian market on its own is simply too small to support local champions with no international presence, such players will always be vulnerable to competition from players in much larger Asian markets.”

“So while right now we may struggle to imagine why people would want to make everyday payments to people on the other side of the planet, things will look very different once such a facility is actually available.”

If you have a moment, read the submission in full here.

Thank you for your support as we expand internationally to offer you a better global service.