Australian bitcoin exchange startup Nauticus thinks that trading cryptocurrencies should be no more difficult than ordering a pizza.
Regional financial publication Stockhead reports that the Melbourne-based exchange operator — which has raised nearly $17 million through an initial coin offering (ICO) — has ambitious plans for its budding platform.
In addition to its bitcoin exchange — which it claims will support 300 cryptocurrencies and 16 fiat currencies within five years — Nauticus plans to build out a full-featured e-commerce and payments platform, as well as a “green blockchain mining center.” By 2022, hopes to be equipped to perform “global know-your-customer (KYC) verification.”
That’s a tall order, even for a company bootstrapped by a $17 million ICO. However, cryptocurrency exchange Binance went from ICO to world’s largest exchange in less than a year, and the AUSTRAC-registered startup hopes that it can accomplish a similar feat by targeting investors who find a conventional exchange order-book overwhelming.
In some countries, retail investors already have access to simplified cryptocurrency trading interfaces.
US investors, for instance, have long had access to user-friendly cryptocurrency brokerage platform Coinbase, and other fintech startups have lately begun to take a stab at the company’s market share.
Earlier this year, Square’s Cash App released commission-free bitcoin trading to its sizable user base, and the company reports that it netted about $200,000 in net revenue from this operation during the first quarter.
Stock trading app Robinhood began rolling out a cryptocurrency trading interface soon after, and the company has been releasing this feature on a state-by-state basis as it acquires the applicable local licenses to operate as a money transfer business.
Circle — which has long operated one of the more profitable institutional bitcoin trading desks — recently unveiled a proprietary cryptocurrency investing app that currently supports six currencies, the latest of which is monero.
However, investors in other regions often have much fewer options, providing companies like Nauticus with an opportunity to build a dedicated user base before the heavyweights expand their operations overseas.
In Australia, Nauticus will butt heads with Coinbase, which has already set up shop in the country, but the former’s local focus could provide it with an edge on the San Francisco-based firm.