By Michael Moore
The cryptocurrency market is about to become a lot more competitive following the launch of a new user-friendly trading exchange based on the world's second-largest currency—and it's based in Britain.
Oxfordshire-based LEOcoin today announced it will be launching LEOxChange, a new trading exchange for the currency, as it looks to expand and conquer the digital payments market.
Focusing on ease of use and open transparency regarding regulation, LEOcoin looks to change the way people view and use digital payments, the company told attendees at an event in the iconic Tower of London this morning.
Currently the second-largest digital currency in the world, LEOcoin (which stands for Learn, Educate, Own), has already signed up 24,000 merchants and can boast a community of over 131,000 members since its launch in January.
Looking to appeal more toward small businesses and entrepreneurs, LEOcoin differs from Bitcoin and other such competitors in that it doesn't charge commission for intermediaries, effectively cutting out the middleman and offering significant savings for businesses using the currency.
LEOxChange transactions will be instant, allowing retailers, merchants and customers to quickly and easily make purchases, from vinyl records and bicycles to real estate.
The company now plans to officially launch LEOxChange at an event in Hong Kong on April 2, when LEOcoin will be available to purchase for a price expected to be around the €1 mark.
"The launch of LEOcoin today is an important chapter in the evolution of the global digital currency market and is a big statement about the future of the sector against a backcloth of skepticism to date," said Dan Andersson, co-founder of LEOcoin.
LEOxChange's launch comes alongside a survey carried out by its parent company with pollsters YouGov, which discovered a huge potential reach for digital currencies in the United Kingdom.
The survey, which quizzed over a thousand senior managers at British SMBs, found that 85 percent indicated they were unlikely to use a digital currency, and that although awareness of such currencies was very high, at 86 percent, only two percent already accept a digital currency.
Almost 50 percent of these businesses, which trade internationally, said transaction fees were a key concern and 43 percent who transacted using debit or credit cards were also worried about the associated costs.
"These numbers don't surprise us given the negative publicity many of the digital currencies have had. We believe this has been down to such currencies being complicated, inaccessible and not user friendly," Andersson said.
"We aim to address these issues to give users confidence by providing a transparent and straightforward operating system. We have also focused on developing a currency that is intended to be used by everyone. Consequently we anticipate that within five years, individuals and casual users will have increased exponentially as ordinary consumers start to see the benefits of privacy and security offered by LEOcoin, whether trading at home or abroad.
"This is a very dynamic and fast moving area in financial services and we are aiming to bring digital currency into the mainstream."