BitBay: a Polish Bitcoin Exchange with Global Aspirations

One of the more interesting things about Bitcoin is the possibilities that it opens up for people to create. Across the world, we are seeing people entering the Bitcoin space and creating types of businesses that they would never have even dreamed of if the revolutionary technology had not been created.

This comes with both the good and the bad. The good is the creative atmosphere created by Bitcoin that really gets people moving and energized. The bad, exacerbated by the fact that Bitcoin is at base a financial system, is that there is tremendous opportunity for security failures, scams, and thefts. This problem was especially a few years ago before Bitcoin had started to attract more serious, and skilled, players. As older companies failed, newer ones cropped up, having learned from the example of their predecessors. Eventually, we are going to have a set of very strong, very competent players well able to serve the needs of the Bitcoin community.

One such company is BitBay, a Polish Bitcoin and Litecoin exchange located in Poland, but with wider aspirations. I had the opportunity to talk with Justyna Laskowska Witek of BitBay to find out a little about them. Enjoy the read:

First, a little while ago, I did an interview with the Katowice football team who accepts Bitcoin. How are they doing, and do you have any affiliation with them?

GKS Katowice is the club from BitBay’s hometown. So, we have an emotional connection to the team. Now they play in the second level of the Polish Football League. What’s even better, they still accept Bitcoin. If you are a GKS fan, you can support them with BTC donation.

So what is BitBay, what services do you provide, and what makes you better than your closest competition?

BitBay is an online exchange where you can trade Bitcoin and Litecoin. There are many services like ours. However, we want BitBay to stand out of the crowd. We wanted our exchange to be fast, maximally secure and trustworthy. Time is money, so this is particularly important for traders to make quick transactions. Our service allows them to make fast deposits and withdrawals in fiat currencies (USD, PLN, EUR) through online payment provides. Bitcoin exchange rate changes to fast to make people wait until bank confirms the payment. Furthermore, in BitBay we pay much attention to safety. We use powerful redundant dedicated servers and keep 100% of funds of our customers in encrypted cold wallets. The user’s data are ensured with 2-factor authentication provided by Rublon. There are also additional options to protect access to your account], for example Google Authenticator or email notifications.Last but not least, we offer 24/7 support. Users can contact us via email, hotline or by using live chat on our website. During the work week they can also visit our office in Katowice. We are not an anonymous organization. Everyone can meet us and talk about cryptocurrencies. You are always welcome.

BitBay is based in Poland, but clearly has ambitions for a wider reach. How are you going to achieve that goal?

Our aim is to become noticeable on the global market. We are now adjusting our exchange to the preferences of foreign users. BitBay website, platform and FAQ page are available in English. Our support is also prepared to help English speaking users. Furthermore, we work on extending our offer of online payment operators to fit the expectations of new customers. Recently we established the cooperation with OKPay that allows users to make deposits and withdrawals in USD and EUR.

BitBay was founded in 2014, a month after the monstrous crash of MT Gox. Since then, Bitcoin exchanges have been further hacks, thefts and scandals with exchanges across the world. Every business handling other people’s bitcoins says that they make security their number one priority. What can you say to a nervous investor to make him or her feel secure leaving bitcoins with you?

We are fully aware of possible threats and thus we work with the best specialists on security. We use encoded disk on which databases, backups and cryptocurrencies wallets are stored. The founds of our customers are kept on cold wallets. We perform all backups according to the 3-2-1 principle. The connection with the platform is SSL encrypted. We are encouraging users to apply strong passwords to provide accurate protection for your account and to obligatory use 2- factor authentication services. Moreover, at the end of every automated process in BitBay there are always well-qualified employees who monitor and authorize all transactions.

What’s been your biggest success, and your biggest failure, to date?

One of the greatest moments we had was when Coin Telegraph published an article about our project. It has resulted in international recognition of BitBay and allowed us to dare to seriously think about foreign markets. Another big step toward reaching this goal was becoming a partner of Bitcoin Embassy in Amsterdam. This helped us to become a part of a European Bitcoin community. So far, we hadn’t experienced anything that could be called as our “biggest failure”. Although we made a few mistakes at the begging, we have taken a lesson from them.

What’s the climate like for Bitcoin in Poland right now in terms of regulation, adoption, etc.? How do you see things developing through the rest of 2015?

There are still many people in Poland who doesn’t understand Bitcoin. However, as more reputable companies implement Bitcoin payments, the awareness is slowly growing. Also, Bitcoin is now receiving greater interest from Polish mainstream media and this stimulates discussion around cryptocurrencies. Despite these positive signals, banks and government are rather suspicious to Bitcoin technology. We hope that the activity of the Polish Bitcoin community, especially conferences and meetings, will result in better understanding of Bitcoin among these institutions.