1 Month Down: What We’ve Learned Since Launch Day

This monday marked one month since we publicly launched Celery, our latest product. We’ve learned so much since launch day, and we’re growing and changing to be the best we can be. 

Since launch day, we’ve had a great response and signup rate for new users. We’ve reached a lot of you through Google ads, Reddit activity, and our CoinDesk article. We were also recently interviewed by former traders Tom Snosnoff & Tony Battista on their show, Bootstrapping in America

We’ve gotten a lot of love from the r/dogecoin community, which we’re super thankful for. All the feedback we’ve received has been enormously educational. We are working to implement several new features in the coming weeks and months in response to your requests. We love your feedback, and we’re committed to providing the best customer service we can. We want to know what we’re doing right, and where we need to improve. Keep it coming! 

Our team is continuously trying to build the best digital currency products for you. We’re proud to have created a product that the digital currency community continues to embrace and promote. Thank you for helping us grow. 

- The Celery Team 

Ilya and Divya go to Chicago

Last Wednesday, our co-founders Ilya and Divya went to Chicago to be on Bootstrapping in America.

Here’s the interview:

During the interview, Ilya and Divya told the story of how BTX trader grew as a company, and explained how each of our products (BTX Trader and Celery) work. Tom and Tony, the hosts of the show, expressed the sentiment that drove us to build Celery: they’re interested in digital currency but don’t know how to buy it. Tom also shared his belief in the huge potential of digital currency, particularly concerning easy international money transfer - something he knows first hand is a far too complicated process. Ilya and Divya had a great time on Bootstrapping in America, and we even gained some valuable customers - Tom & Tony.

It being Ilya and Divya’s first time in Chicago, the pair managed to fit some tourist-y adventures in after the show. They visited the Chicago Board of Trade, the Cloud Gate, and made sure to sample Chicago style hot dogs and deep-dish pizza.

trading floor

logo ilyalogo

hands

hot dogpizza

cloud

Last Week Today: An Industry Roundup 8/25

Ilya tried his hand at flying a drone. It only ended up in the garbage twice… http://ift.tt/1quuunV

https://www.tastytrade.com/tt/

Tom and Tony talk with Ilya Subkankulov & Divya Thakur of Celery. Ilya Subkankulov & Divya Thakur are the Co-founders of BTX T…

Earlier today, we were on Bootstrapping in America. Check out our interview! 

What we’re reading: Difference, by Bernadette Jiwa

At BTX, we love to share knowledge (and fun!) as a team, and often recommend books to each other. Our UX designer, Timothy Dollard, tells us a little bit about what he’s currently reading. 

What book are you reading right now?

Difference, by Bernadette Jiwadifference

Why did you decide to read this book?

Divya, our Chief Technical Officer, went on a book-buying spree and ordered at least 15 books on various startup-relevant topics. Things like product design, marketing, PR, branding, and other random stuff specific to a startup company like ours. I picked Difference, by Bernadette Jiwa, because I’m always interested in great products and companies that really improve peoples lives. I was curious to learn about Bernadette Jiwa’s insights.

What was most enjoyable about this book?

It has very sensible statements about how companies should design products, communicate their values, deliver features and interact with customers. It almost makes the whole process sound easy. The ‘Difference Map’ that the author fills out for other successful start-ups is very interesting, and helped us create our own plan.

map

What was least enjoyable about it?

I wouldn’t say there was anything not enjoyable about this book. It just left me wanting to read more. The book itself is very short, and by the end it can feel a bit vague. The overall themes are useful to keep in mind, but more data and case studies would have been nice.

What do you feel that you gained something from it?

I definitely gained overarching principles/guidelines for approaching product design and communication. Bernadette Jiwa really stressed the people side of a business/product. Her goal is to build a business around products that change how people behave, how they feel or improve how they live. I completely agree with this outlook. I’m overwhelmed by the number of brands, products and amount of marketing out there. It’s always great (but rare) to discover a company that offers a product that you truly value because it’s useful, enjoyable and good for you. It always makes you think, why wasn’t this around sooner!

Would you recommend it to a friend?

I would for anyone interested in products, brands or marketing. It’s a quick read.

What was your favorite quote?

“They [difference thinkers] innovate and create at the edges, ignoring the Market of Everyone.”

This definitely reminds me of digital currency as a whole. It began with—and is still largely used by—people who are technology savvy and ahead of the curve. More and more people are beginning to see the great possibilities digital currency holds.

“They watch what people do and don’t just believe whatever people tell them.”

This describes user testing in a nutshell. Real feedback from real people has been crucial for us while building Celery. Bernadette Jiwa may not have been specifically referencing user-testing, but I believe it’s an applicable practice and fits in with the themes of the book.

What do you want to read next?

Next I’m reading Get Your Priorities Straight by Nick Scarpino. It’s about marketing and communications.

BTX Trader is one of the only professional trading platforms for digital currency offering features such as advanced order types, real-time market data, and candlestick bar and tick charts. Our first product was a desktop trading application for Windows. Since then we have brought our trading platform to the web and recently launched a new product called Celery.

Celery is a website where people can easily and securely buy and spend bitcoin and dogecoin online,  built with simplicity and great user experience in mind….

Hey, we’re in Crypto Markets & Technology! 

From Cancer Research to Microfinance - How Digital Currency Can Help Nonprofits

There are many aspects of digital currency that make it a unique development in payment systems. The idea of an international currency in itself is revolutionary. Digital currency is poised to make significant and long lasting impacts on many aspects of ecommerce, but one area that deserves a spotlight is non-profit fundraising.

If there’s one thing that any nonprofit professional will tell you, it’s that every penny counts. when credit card transaction fees cut into donations, nonprofits feel the pain. Our team member, Laura, had first hand experience with this when she helped launch an organization for sarcoma research. “Every dollar, every quarter we raised made a difference,” she recalls. “In order to have fundraising events and put together a campaign, we needed starting capital. That would inherently detract from the amount of money we could donate to our affiliated organization. When we would receive larger donations or sell tickets online for our events, processing fees cut a chunk out every time. We spent as much time trying to figure out how to save money as we did developing our programs.”

Laura’s experience was not unique in the slightest. Credit card processing fees typically run 2-3%, which eats away at any donation made through things like ticket sales and traditional online donations. Digital currency adoption would decrease that transaction fee dramatically, furthering the utility of every dollar donated. The money saved from minimizing fees could go a long way to improving the quality of life of the employees that run the show, while maintaining (or increasing!) the resources available for active programs.

Lowering or eliminating transaction fees would greatly improve the efficiency of any nonprofit. However, digital currency holds even greater promise for the world of international microfinance. Micropayments are already quite common in the Dogecoin and Bitcoin communities. Tips are sent for interesting or provocative content, to support good writing and other creative ventures. This behavior feeds naturally into microfinance, the act of providing small loans to disadvantaged businesspeople in order to promote grassroots development and long term sustainability. While traditional humanitarian aid is vital during emergency situations, it does little to create long-term solutions for communities that face a consistent lack of resources and economic support. In an article with the Harvard School of Public Health, Michael VanRooyen, director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative explains the shortcomings of traditional aid:

“When the NGO machine steps into a large-scale humanitarian emergency, it quickly provides water and sanitation services, food aid, health care, housing, and security. Most organizations don’t effectively prepare for long-term sustainability…In many ways, the NGO community creates an alternate economy, and much of the money is spent on the delivery of emergency services. So it’s a valid complaint from local residents: “Where did all the money go?”

Microfinance actively combats this problem by giving community members access to the capital resources they need to spur their own growth and develop their own economies. By stimulating grassroots economic activity, microfinance loans can have a long-term community impact, and lift disadvantaged individuals out of poverty.

Digital currency solves two big problems that exist with microfinance: International remittance fees, and reliance on pre-existing banks. While there are some opportunities for microfinance within the united states, most microloans are made to individuals overseas, in Africa, Asia, and South America. Typically, individuals receiving microloans do not have access to traditional banking systems. Traditional banking can be prohibitively expensive for individuals in poverty, with fees and balance minimums rising far beyond a rural worker’s income. Furthermore, banks require a credit history to provide loans, and rarely provide loans small enough for this population’s needs. International microfinance solves these issues. And yet, like any other international money transfer, there are fees for donors and international remittance charges that decrease the potential of any international microloan.

Digital currency transfers could eliminate all of these barriers for those in need. Today, people donate money to organizations like Kiva.org, who then transfer the money to partners in impoverished areas, who ultimately distribute the microloan to the individual in need. Transactions like that take time to clear, and every step of the way, there is a piece of the initial donation eaten by transaction fees an international money transfer fees. With digital currency, a donation could be sent nearly instantaneously, across borders, without costing the donor or recipient extra for banking or transfer fees. If Tim donated bitcoin to a microfinance nonprofit, the nonprofit could pass on the bitcoin to their international partner, who would exchange the bitcoin for local currency. One day, Tim might even be able to make a digital currency microloan directly to someone in need anywhere in the world. Quickly and easily, the money would be in the hands of those who need it most. Implementing a digital currency donation system could revolutionize microfinance, and would make microfinancing initiatives even more successful than they already are.

 



Places to donate bitcoin:

https://www.khanacademy.org/donate

http://www.womensannexfoundation.org/

http://seansoutpost.com/about/

http://www.onehundredforhaiti.org/who-we-are/about-us/

https://worldaid.org/

http://thewaterproject.org/

http://dignitasinternational.org/



For Further reading:

http://philanthropy.com/article/Banking-on-Bitcoin-Nonprofit/147559/

http://eleventygroup.com/site/2014/06/03/bitcoin-next-big-thing-nonprofit-fundraising/

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/magazine/spr12-humanitarian-aid-leaning-vanrooyen/

http://www.cluteinstitute.com/ojs/index.php/IBER/article/view/3082/3130

Last Week Today: An Industry Roundup 8/18

Start your monday with a refresher course in last week’s news. Here are some of the stories we found interesting from the digital currency industry last week:

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Warns On BitcoinsImage via New York Times

The Great Bitcoin DivideTerpinImage via Getty

How Bitcoin might transform international payments — a lifeline for millionsMaison du BitcoinImage via Venturebeat

For Merchants, Bitcoin Shows More Pop Than Potentialjason handImage via the New York Times

Bitcoin Falls Out Of Its Trading RangetechcrunchImage via TechCrunch

EBay Payments Unit in Talks to Accept BitcoinwsjImage via the Wall Street Journal

Spiderwoman Brings Hope to Winklevoss Twins’ Bitcoin ETF
Moriarty

Image via Bloomberg

It’s getting hot in the office today! @pexpeppers hot sauce, bought with dogecoin. It’s definitely time for a taste test. http://ift.tt/1nTkC5A