An international Bitcoin trading firm is to expand its Dublin operations to meet growing market demand for its trade in virtual currencies.
The founder of Circle International Financial told the Irish Independent that the company was embarking on a hiring round that would see its presence in Ireland grow in line with its increased activity in alternative currencies. "What we're showing companies is the utility value of Bitcoin rather than just its intrinsic asset value," said Jeremy Allaire, founder and chief executive of Circle International Finance.
The company recently took on €7m in new funding, making it one of the best-funded Bitcoin-focused firms in the market. As part of the company's expansion in Dublin, Circle is recruiting new jobs in customer support and financial management at its Dublin headquarters.
Mr Allaire says that Circle takes much of the risk out of trading in Bitcoin for companies by setting valuations at the time of a trade.
"Over time, the fluctuations in value will settle down into a more evenly priced currency with all of the attributes, such as hedging, that we see in established trading systems today."
He said that trading in Bitcoin had some inherent advantages over existing currencies.
"One of the problems with current systems is security and fraud," he said. "If you think about it, there are lots of people and organisations who you need to share your sensitive financial information with. Sometimes the system fails and banks have to reimburse customers. That's fine, but it's really an admission of the system's failures. Trading in Bitcoin is a much more secure way of doing it, when established."
Mr Allaire said that mainstream trading organisations were still wary of accepting crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin because of a combination of factors, including low consumer take-up and erratic valuation fluctuations. However, he said that this was changing, too.
"In the last week, we've seen a big US retailer, Tiger Direct, start to accept Bitcoins," he said. "I expect more to accept the currency in time."