By Simon Anquetil - October 24, 2013
Tags: app platforms, bitcoin, consumer apps, Enterprise Apps, startup
Imagine coming up with an innovative idea to help people sell what they already own only to discover that what’s legal in one country is not in another and you can’t open a bank account as a result. That’s exactly what happened to entrepreneur Michael Neff who came up with a better way to help people sell their digital software they were no longer using. It’s like an online version of a used bookstore of sorts.
The problem is that The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 that was enacted into law to prevent piracy of intellectual property doesn’t give consumers the right to sell their digital apps online because it’s technically not theirs to sell, but rather a license to use it. However, in Europe and other parts of the world, it is perfectly legal to sell digital goods online. This created an issue for Neff’s start-up company, halfpricedigital.com. Rather than relocating to another country, he was able to solve his start-up issue by registering his website in the UK and using Bitcoin to collect online payments. This enabled him to get around international banking regulations and the DMCA that appear to be out of sync with today’s technology.
Satoshi Nakamoto, the founder of Bitcoin, has enabled entrepreneurs like Neff to carry out international online transactions without the need for a traditional bank. Nakamoto’s goal was to be in a position to exchange currency electronically and securely without involving third parties, like banks and payment processors such as PayPal. Further, it helps small businesses to prevail over the impossible regulations that individuals must go through during the business start up phase. In a world where half of the population does not have a bank account, debit card or a credit card, Bitcoin bridges the gap.
Banks and large corporations still view the concept of Bitcoin as an issue. But for some companies, virtual currencies can help them get their start-up off the ground. For small businesses, it’s essential to think from a different perspective. By making use of Bitcoin, users can carry out transactions such as buying and selling goods and services. In addition, the digital currency has enabled corporations to operate regardless of international banking laws that are often difficult to navigate.
Since the year 2008 after Nakamoto uploaded a paper explaining the Bitcoin protocol on the web, to the time when Bitcoins were first issued, till last August when Amos Mazzat, the Federal Judge of the Eastern District of Texas ( 5th circuit), ruled that Bitcoins are a form of currency. Bitcoins have been used in numerous ways including international online payments.
Bitcoin not only facilitates sending money anywhere in the world, it makes it possible to carry out business transactions on the internet breaking down borders and regulations which have hampered the development of a broader global marketplace. This has solved many issues that start-ups have with international banking in a global marketplace.